Home Indiana Agriculture News Dry Weather Could Affect Indiana’s Corn Pollination

Dry Weather Could Affect Indiana’s Corn Pollination

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Shelbyville’s water tower and home to Shelbyville City Fire Station 3 overlooks corn and soybean fields along State Road 44 west of Shelbyville, Indiana. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.

Even though rain fell across most of Indiana late last week, Hoosier Ag Today’s Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin says it wasn’t nearly enough rain.

“It’s a bit of an understatement. We need more [rain], we need regular rains and we don’t have either of those in the forecast short term,” says Martin.

Due to dry weather conditions across Indiana this summer, the state’s corn crop is rated at 47 percent good-to-excellent, while Indiana’s soybeans are 49 percent good-to-excellent, according to the USDA’s Weekly Crop Progress Report for the week ending Sunday, July 10. That is a slight drop from 48 percent for corn and 50 percent for soybeans from the previous week.

Also, both corn silking and soybean blooming are behind their respective five-year averages for this time of year.

Martin says it is important that corn crops receive moisture – especially throughout mid-to-late July during the pollination process.

Hoosier Ag Today Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin.

“Corn is just on the cusp of pollination in a lot of areas and that’s the time period that corn uses the most water per day on a daily basis – anywhere from four-to-five tenths of [an inch of] water get pulled as that plant is trying to move into the tasseling and pollination phase,” according to Martin. “Look at it this way, [if] we get an inch of rain, that corn plant goes through it in four days and that’s not talking about any moisture that goes down through the soil profile.”

Martin says a lack of moisture to corn plants during the pollination phase could cause problems.

“If we get incomplete pollination or stressed pollination, that leads to kernel abortions on these ears as we’re getting going,” says Martin.  “The longer that we go with extreme dryness, the more likely we are going to be looking at a problem for yield.”

He says even though temperatures won’t be nearly as hot or excessive as they were before – not having any rain could still be an issue.

“If we get if we get good rain every two-to-three days, those [above average] temperatures are fine – corn will love it [and] corn will grow, [but] if we’re [at] 85 to 92 [degrees] and were bone dry, we’ve got a whole host of other issues because you’re just boosting evaporation of what little moisture if left even faster.”

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news report on how dry weather could affect Indiana’s corn pollination.

Click BELOW to hear the full interview with Hoosier Ag Today’s Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin how a lack of rain and moisture to corn crops during the pollination process can potentially impact corn yields.

Shelbyville’s water tower and home to Shelbyville City Fire Station 3 overlooks a corn field west of Shelbyville, Indiana. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.