With corn planting complete, farmers across the country are hoping that summer conditions are optimal to minimize potential yield losses due to late planting.
To access post-planting weather thus far, Field Notes spoke with Kentucky farmer Sam Hancock. The first participant to finish planting, Hancock reported that, once the rains that delayed planting ceased, unseasonably hot, dry conditions are now the cause for concern.
“Most of the crop looks good right now, but we needed rain on the corn,” said Hancock.
“The corn is definitely getting twisted in this heat, but so far the stands look good. We just need some water at this point.”
In describing the weather conditions, Hancock emphasized the extremes to which rainfall and temperatures have gone in his area.
“It is amazing how the weather changed here. We had about six weeks where we got 20 inches of rain and barely saw 70 degrees,” said Hancock. “When the faucet got turned off, we were immediately in the mid- to high-90s with no rain at all.”
Hancock explained that as late planting can negatively impact a crop, so too can sustained high temperatures and lack of moisture.
“We do have some irrigation that we turned on this past week on the corn that was twisting,” said Hancock.
“Obviously, due to late planting, the corn is well behind where it would be in a normal year. So when we saw some of the corn starting to twist, we decided to turn the irrigation on to remove some of the stress on the plants. While the stress was mainly due to heat and not lack of moisture, the irrigation helped cool them off.”