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Heat fueling early crop growth

06/18/2013 @ 7:49am

Last week we were discussing that Iowa's corn crop needed some extra heat units to stimulate early growth. This latest crop progress report says that 89% of Iowa's corn has emerged as of June 16 vs. 81% on June 9 with the five-year average of 99%.

Similarly, Illinois reports 94% emerged vs. last week's 89% and the five-year average of 97%. Crop conditions have improved in Minnesota and Wisconsin this past week with 86% and 75% of the corn emerged in these two states where it has been quite wet in the southern counties. This past week the average maximum temperature for the state of Iowa was 82 degrees F. with an average low of 62 F.

This week, the average daily highs should be close to 84 degrees F. with the average low of 70 F.; although the next few nights will be cool, we expect warmer nights later this week into the weekend. The extra heat is going to help stimulate early growth this week. Even warmer daytime temperatures are forecast for this next weekend into early next week with daily highs in the upper 80s to mid-90s, particularly in the southern Corn Belt, with very warm nights. That should help crop growth, provided there is regular rain.

At this moment, we can assume that the subsoils are sufficiently moist to encourage good growth as well. The extended weather maps suggest below-normal rainfall in the southwestern Corn Belt, with normal to above-normal rainfall patterns elsewhere. These very extended weather maps are showing hot weather developing over the Plains states.

Some of that heat will be able to move into the Corn Belt states particularly ahead of cold fronts that move southward at times into the Corn Belt states. So far it looks as if the center of this heat will remain to the west and southwest of the Corn Belt states during the latter part of June.


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