The rainfall in May and June has put the corn crop in a difficult position this growing season. Late in June the corn crop in eastern Illinois north of Interstate 74 was under water. It looked bad, really bad. Oh there was some of it that looked pretty good, but not much. Things across the border in Indiana aren’t much better, and neither, apparently, is a large part of Missouri and southern Illinois. The crop has just gotten way to much water says University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger.
Quote Summary - This is one of those times when the consequences of having a foot of rain in June is not something we would want to ever have and this year it is going to have a serious affect on the crop.
There are two primary concerns related to corn. The moisture is a great haven for the development of disease. The other concern, and this may be more important moving through July and August, is that the root system of the crop hasn’t had any need to develop…not just the roots of the corn under water, but of the whole corn crop from Missouri to Ohio.
The closer we get to pollination the slower this root regrowth is and the less potential there is to recover a healthy root system on this crop say Nafziger,
This could come back to hurt the crop later in the season because it won’t be very resilient during periods of dry weather. A crop in the first week of August cannot grow its root system deeper. It does not have that capability.
If the system has been damaged, even if there is nitrogen and water left deep in the soil, it may not be able to access it and produce higher yields. There in lies a new concern for the water logged corn crop. It looks now as if there may be a change in the weather pattern. Mike Tannura of tStorm Weather in Chicago has been talking about this on the radio.
Quote Summary - A hot area of upper level high pressure is going to drive the U.S. weather pattern over the next couple of weeks and probably beyond that. It’s location is key. Right now we think it will center somewhere near Nebraska / Kansas and on to the west, which would just keep things warm, but not too warm. Any deviation in that system would lead to dramatic changes in weather forecast over the next few weeks.
So, too much rain has stressed the corn crop from Missouri to Ohio. It’s about to pollinate, and then begin grain fill. Even if the weather only turns hot, it could be a compounding problem.