Hot, Dry Conditions Stressing MN Corn Crop

Hot, Dry Conditions Stressing MN Corn Crop Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 31, 2012 at 9:06 am

FOLEY, MN (KNSI) - Some corn fields in central Minnesota are showing plenty of stress as the calendar turns to August. Too much heat this summer and too little rain has done a number on some fields.

All over the board. That's how Benton County Extension Educator Dan Martens describes crop conditions in central Minnesota. Nationally, the corn crop has taken a beating from the worst drought conditions seen since the 1950's. Locally, Martens says things aren't as bad on a large scale, but that doesn't mean every farmer will see a crop.

"We've got some corn on the dry land sand that was scorched badly a couple of weeks ago in the heat before we started getting some rain showers," Martens said. "For the guy who may have two or three hundred acres corn on some dry land sand that didn't catch those showers ...things are in pretty bad shape."

Even with some late rain, certain fields that missed their chance at pollination may be lost for the season.

"Some of it is past the point where it could set in the air and pollenate decently. Some of it was primed to pollenate in that hot weather and did a very poor job of pollenating," Martens said. "For that corn that could not pollenate decently, that is too late for that crop because it only has that one chance to get that done."

With the uncertainty, or even the certain loss, of their crop, farmers will need to turn to crop insurance to at least cover their cash expenses for the year.

Help cover cash input expenses for the year..

"It doesn't go very far beyond that in terms of providing a living that you hoped to make by producing that crop," Martens said. "It may not go a long way toward buying some of the feed you have to buy. But it does cover some of the cash input cost."

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said food prices will go up 3 to 5 percent because of the dry conditions across the country.

JW Cox

Posted By JW Cox

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