Will the Indiana corn crop mature before the feared first frost of the year? Indiana state climatologist Beth Hall says more time is needed before she can come up with a date for that first 28-degree hard frost, though she did break down data from the past 10 years.
“And of those 10 years, four of them were at the end of October, so the 21st through 29th, and the other 6 years were in November.”
She also predicts warm and wet weather for the rest of the growing season, something that Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen says is very welcomed.
As for maturity, Nielsen says if farmers backed down to 100-day maturity corn, “Even if it was planted by June 20, which there was a fair number of acres planted that late in the northern parts the state, but even 100-day corn planted by June 20 should, according to GDD’s (growing degree days), mature safely before a typical mid to late October freeze even for the northern most counties of Indiana.”
Nielsen says that is physiological maturity, not necessarily meaning that it’s harvestable.
“Corn matures at about 30 percent grain moisture, which is certainly not harvestable grain moistures. So, if we’re talking mid to late October maturing a corn crop with the usual kind of heat we get, we do not get a lot of field drying per day. So, certainly the risk of high moisture harvest is going to be higher this year and that incurs cost of drying and other things. So, clearly, we need not only a sunny September and October, but frankly warmer than normal.”
Hear more comments from Nielsen in the Purdue Crop Report video.