Corn Crop Yields May Be Lower This Year

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September 16, 2013 — As fall approaches, farmers around the state are preparing to harvest their crops, but as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Claire McInerny reports, corn growers in the state might be disappointed in their yields this year.

Farmers started this year’s growing season hopeful. More corn was planted, and after successful pollination in the first few weeks of the crop, strong yields looked promising.

But the United States Department of Agriculture Drought Report released last week showed one third of Indiana is abnormally dry and the lack of rainfall and extreme heat at the end of August is causing concern .

Purdue Extension Agronomist Bob Nielsen says the late onset drought will be detrimental for some fields.

“It’s going to be a real mixed bag this year for yields, and I think it will truly range from record high yields to disappointing yields and that range may even occur within the same county or within a few miles of each other.”

Nielsen says drought at this point in the season is concerning because this is when the kernels are gaining weight and growing to their full size. f the photosynthesis is interrupted by lack of water, farmers could end up with a lighter crop than normal.

“They’re looking at much lower grain price for what they’re going to harvest this year, and so that factor basically accentuates the necessity of getting good yield this year because what you’re harvesting you’re not going to be able to sell it for as much.”

Nielsen says central Indiana has experienced the most consistent drought and could produce the smallest corn yield in the state.

For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Claire McInerny.


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