Rains have brought relief to the Midwest Corn Belt last week, breaking a dry spell and bringing out tasseling.
“We were showing a tremendous amount of drought stress prior to that. I think with the rains and some of the fields that were irrigated, it’s really perked up,” Randy Matthys, of Shady Lane Farms in South Bend, Ind., told AgDay.
The rains also have helped soybeans and spearmint crops to avoid damage from heat. Soybeans emerged late after the rains but now look OK, according to Matthys. He's also seen some tasseling in corn.
This year’s weather has been just the opposite of last year, when too much rain left fields muddy and prevented farmers from spraying in the fields. But even so, farmers still produced the third-largest corn crop on record.
USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey said the earlier planted corn would get through production without major heat and drought stress in the eastern Corn Belt, unlike areas in the Deep South and western United States hit by extreme heat.
“Looking ahead in the next couple of weeks, it looks like there could be plenty of cold fronts keeping temperatures down a bit in the Midwest,” observed Rippey.