The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has voiced a number of concerns regarding corn crop in farms across the country. According to the most recent USDA Crop Progress Report, the U.S. is 50 percent behind schedule for corn crop silked in a five-year comparison. As of July 15th, only 16 percent of the U.S. corn crop was silked and the average percentage during mid-July is typically closer to 35 percent.
Most farmers will point to the “nature of the beast”, as farm country sheds light on the delayed progress of their fields. This past spring brought record-level rains across the country. As a result, corn crop was kept out of the field by growers. As they prepare to go into pollination, growers are now faced with a crop-growth delay. The impending issues regarding this late pollination may make bigger waves than some growers would think.
Due to these delays, it is likely that the corn crop will not pollinate until late July, even early August. If this is in fact the case, the corn will be growing in conditions of low moisture and high heat. Missy Bauer, an associate field agronomist of the Farm Journal, warns farmers that the late crops may be susceptible to substantial kernel abortion. Take a look at the link here to view the video where Missy highlights the issues surrounding late pollination this year.
In addition to kernel abortion, Missy warns about the potential for pest pressure. When crops take a longer amount of time to pollinate, pests are in turn given more time to infiltrate and feed. As such, all growers should be well-aware of the state of their corn crop this summer.