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Weather Outlook Favorable for Corn Pollination

Farmers have an especially sharp eye on the weather this week as corn across the country is pollinating.

This past week the warm and dry conditions across the corn belt have reduced soil moisture and eased wetness in the northwestern Midwest.

However, the temperatures have caused some dryness in the southwestern Midwest, especially in northern Missouri and west central Illinois. The latest Drought Monitor map released July 12, 2018 indicates counties in that region range from abnormally dry to extreme drought.

Meteorologist Kyle Tapley of Radiant Solutions says temperatures over the weekend will remain above normal for most of the corn belt but will fall again next week.

David Streit of Commodity Weather group explains, “The main heat is going to be over the next two days. We will see 90’s across the Midwest, although the Dakotas will likely stay in the 80’s.”

Low temperatures will stay up in the 70’s through the weekend, he says.

“Because the soil moisture is so well apportioned for most of the belt, the 90’s are not going to cause problems for the most part,” Streit adds.

In Missouri much of the corn crop has pollinated already. However, late pollinating corn in the state may suffer some damage with the high temperatures this weekend.

Monday temperatures are expected to drop back into the 80’s thanks to a front of thundershowers moving in. With that, low temperatures may drop into the 60’s, or even 50’s for the northwest corner of the corn belt. Cooler weather in the Midwest is expected to favor pollinating corn for the next two weeks.

Along with the cooler temperatures, increasing rainfall is expected around the Midwest over the next 14 days. That moisture should lead to more favorable conditions for both corn and soybean crops, Tapley says.

Streit expects 75-80% of the corn belt to receive .5 to 1.5 inches of rain in the next week.

“Showers in the eastern Delta should favor crops, but some minor dryness may linger in western areas,” Tapley explained. “The far northern Plains and the southern Canadian Prairies should miss out on most of the rainfall over the next 10-15 days, which will lead to some stress on spring wheat.”

16-30 Day Forecast

Tapley says the in the extended forecast, “Temperature outlook has trended cooler across the Midwest and northern Plains, and warmer in the Southeast. Cooler temperatures in much of the Midwest will continue to prevent heat stress on corn and soybeans.”

In the 16-30 day forecast precipitation in the northern and eastern Midwest and northwestern Prairies has been trending drier than normal. Over in the east central Plains, northern Delta, and southwestern Midwest precipitation is expected to trend wetter than normal.

“Showers in the northern Plains would slow spring wheat drydown and early harvesting,” Tapley says.

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