For a couple of weeks in July, oppressive heat and humidity covered much of Kentucky.

That, coupled with a lack of rain, has caused corn in some areas of the state to have poor pollination rates and grain fill problems.

During that period, temperatures exceeded 95 degrees most days with heat indices as high as 117 reported in some parts of the state.

“We had a wet spring so that threw the corn crop behind schedule,” said Tom Priddy, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture meteorologist. “When it came time for corn’s reproductive stage, it dried off, and we were hit with oppressive heat.”

Western counties along the Tennessee border and the Purchase Area are some of the hardest hit for both temperatures and lack of rainfall.

Producers in these areas, as well as those in other places with below-average rainfall, should scout their crop for developmental problems, said Chad Lee, UK grain crops Extension specialist.

“From the outside looking in, the crop looks really good, but producers need to go into the fields and look at the ears, because we’re seeing poor pollination and seed set,” Lee said.

“If producers find developmental problems, they may want to schedule that field for an early harvest or make other marketing decisions.”