Area farmers are welcoming the warmer temperatures for their corn. After a very wet spring that saw minor flooding and ponding in local fields, the drying nature of hot temperatures combined with the humidity is helping the crop grow. ISU Extension field specialist Rebecca Vittetoe the heat will help, but not all the corn will hit the mark in the old adage: “knee-high by the Fourth of July.” She says some of the earlier planted corn will make it, but the later planted corn will be lucky to be knee-high. The corn height is measured by the amount of vegetative growth or leaf collars as it extends upward, starting with V-1.
The corn can grow to the V-19 or V-20 stage before it tassels out and starts the process of developing the ears. Vittetoe says she doesn’t like being out in this heat but likes what it does to the corn.
The corn is normally ready to start the tassling phase around mid-July, but she says that could be the end of July or early August this year. Vittetoe has talked with her colleagues and is hearing there’s a large variance across the state in corn development.
Getting the seed in the ground helps ease some of the concern for local farmers.
The last USDA crop report listed 62% of the corn crop in good to excellent condition. Sixty-three percent of the beans were rated in good to excellent condition. The next report is due out Monday.