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Weather outlook good for corn tasseling

Agriculture.com Staff 07/15/2008 @ 9:51am

Corn pollination is underway throughout the Corn Belt, and the weather conditions in the next few days are just what the crop needs to shoot out tassels, weather-watchers say.

Ag forecasters with Accuweather.com said Tuesday they expect "overall favorable conditions" for corn pollination in the Midwest from July 20 to July 30.

"We are seeing a normal progression of fronts and scattered rain throughout the period, but in most areas, no prolonged spells of hot weather," says AccuWeather.com agriculture expert senior meteorologist Dale Mohler. "This is the type of weather that is ideal for the pollination period, when hot weather and an absence of rain can cause problems. The only areas which may have a problem with too much heat are the western fringes of the Midwest croplands."

The positive pollination outlook is a welcome development for farmers who have faced overall slow, behind-normal crop progress all season. The tasseling prognosis could mean that, if there's no early frost, the corn crop will likely have a chance to reach full maturity unimpeded by Mother Nature.

"While the crops have made excellent progress in recent days, they are still lagging a few days behind the normal growth cycle," Mohler says in an Accuweather.com report. "If the weather stays favorable the rest of the summer, and we don't have an early frost, we could end up harvesting close to what was expected at the start of the season."

The bright tasseling outlook is a jolt of confidence for some farmers in the Corn Belt who have had a tough growing season thus far. Agriculture Online Crop Talk member 67guy says his crop's behind the normal pace, but conditions are improving.

"We usually start to see a few tassles on or close to the Fourth of July. We are just starting to see a few fields popping a few tassles the last day or two," 67guy said last weekend. "The week of the 20th through the 26th looks like a big pollinating week here. Planting was spread out over several weeks this year so some fields won't shoot for another week to 10 days.

"Things look real good. Even if we do encounter some heat during pollination, I think we have enough moisture it won't be a problem," he continues. "It seems like todays hybrids can take a lot more heat at pollination than 15 years ago."

Corn pollination is underway throughout the Corn Belt, and the weather conditions in the next few days are just what the crop needs to shoot out tassels, weather-watchers say.

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