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Higher Than Average Temperatures Cause Concern Across US

Higher Than Average Temperatures Cause Concern Across US

25 July 2013

ANALYSIS - As US corn conditions declined for a second consecutive week, growers are advised not to raise concerns for the crop, writes Gemma Hyland for TheCropSite.

Improved conditions are expected for the next two weeks, which will be crucial for corns pollination stage.

According to the latest USDA Crop Progress report, corn in good or excellent condition was at 63 per cent, a three per cent decline from last week.

Corn at the silking growth stage was only at 43 per cent, a huge drop compared to 84 per cent from a year ago.

Mid-season corn crops in Illinois

The spike of above-average daytime temperatures throughout much of Illinois during the third week of July should not raise concerns for the corn crop as most areas had enough water in the soil to carry crops through that week, said University of Illinois professor of crop sciences Emerson Nafziger.

However, higher than normal night temperatures during the past week might have hurt pollination success in areas where soils are starting to dry out, Professor Nafziger said.

“The heavy silking that preceded the full emergence of tassels, as noted in recent years, is very much evidenced again this year. This means there should be little concern about having silks present when pollen is being shed,” he said.

Professor Nafziger said that 21 per cent of the Illinois corn crop was pollinating on July 14, and this moved to 64 per cent by July 21.

“Planting was concentrated in the third week of May this year, so pollination is also occurring relatively quickly. That’s a week or so later than normal,” he added.

Frequent rains help Texas crops, but drought perseveres

According to the National Weather Service, all of Texas received rain during the last seven days, from one inch to two inches in most locations

The rain came too late in many areas to save dryland crops such as cotton, but it did come just in time for High Plains corn that was tasseling, allowing irrigators to let wells rest for a few days. The rain also quickly greened up pastures and rangeland and made another cutting of hay a possibility.

In the Central and Northern regions, where the drought hasn’t been so severe, the rains mainly improved crop yield-potentials.

Most Coastal Bend counties that border the Gulf Coast and were under extreme drought conditions on July 16, received from 1 inch to 2 inches.

During the last 30 days, Texas rainfall ranged from 4 to 8 inches — with instances of 10 inches reported.
During the last 30 days, Texas rainfall ranged from 4 to 8 inches — with instances of 10 inches reported.
(Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service.)

The rains of the last week continued the wetter-weather trend that started about 30 days ago. According the weather service, many parts of the state have received totals of 4 to 8 inches or even more during the last month.

Despite the rains, drought still reigns in Texas. According to the July 16 US Drought Monitor, more than 94 per cent of the state remained under moderate to extreme drought conditions.

Corn conditions dip overall

According to the latest USDA Crop Progress report, corn silking jumped to 43 per cent, up 27 percentage points from last week, but below the 5-year average of 56 per cent silked and well below last year’s rate of 84 per cent silked at this time.

The corn crop condition dipped slightly lower with 89 per cent in fair, good or excellent condition, this is well above last year’s condition amid the season’s drought.

Soybean blooming also saw a jump at 46 per cent, up from 20 percentage points blooming compared to last week, but still below the 5-year average of 59 per cent.

Soybean crop condition is at 92 per cent in fair, good or excellent condition, which is identical to last week’s report. 

Further Reading

You can view the full Crop Progress report by clicking here.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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