Minnesota Farmer

Tassel tales
July 19, 2011, 6:08 pm
Filed under: Corn, Farm, harvest, Minnesota, rain, Soybeans, summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Corn has begun to tassel here in southwestern Minnesota and it is telling us a story.

The tassels are telling a tale of the difficult time the corn plants have had this year.  There is not a field out there that is tasseled from end to end.  Only the best ground has tasseled.  Any place that was a little wet has some time to go yet.  Those places that were very wet will need a lot of time.  Those fields planted late are also behind schedule.

Now we have heat.  The hot humid weather has slowed the corn growth.  With evening temperatures of 80 or more the corn cannot regenerate.  The plants are struggling just to keep alive, we need some cooler nights for them to successfully silk out and start producing kernels.  How much this heat will affect the yield is yet to be determined.

Markets are depending on an early harvest.  Most farmers have swept their bins clean and they will not have any corn for sale until the new crop is in and that will be later than usual, just when the markets needed an early harvest.  Because of that I do not expect the corn price to go down anytime soon.

Soybeans also are variable.  Some farmers in the area replanted wet spots three times, only to see the water come up again and drowned out the beans.  There are beans that are already reaching 30 inches in height, but many beans that are only a few inches high.  Harvest, when it comes, will find a lot of variation in the soybean yield.

Some of my neighbors have begun small grain harvest.  They are taking advantage of the rain free weather to get the oats out.  The high humidity will most likely slow drying, but the crop is there to harvest.

Road ditches and grass fields are being cut and baled.  We had some hay down before the last rainy period.  A week of rain turned the grass to a rotten mess.

With so much rain here in southern Minnesota it is hard to believe that parts of the corn belt are dry.  As close as south eastern Iowa corn fields are short of moisture.  Parts of Kansas are plowing up their corn due to lack of moisture.  Texas and Oklahoma haven’t seen a rain in months.  In a year when we need every possible bushel to refill the bins to meet corn demand, there are lots of problems in the corn belt.

The corn tassels are telling their story, and I’m not sure we like it, but it is the story we must live with.



1 Comment so far
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We are experiencing the heat here in north western Iowa as well, though our corn is doing really well. They have all tassled already and are towering over my head. Hope ya’ll get a break in the heat up there!

Comment by notyouraveragefarmgirl

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