How will weather impact harvest and late-planted crops?

We saw a lot of extreme weather this summer, heatwaves, drought, and in some areas, major flooding, and the weather we have seen so far could impact harvest.

An agronomist with Golden Harvest says to expect it to be variable.

“Some of that corn could have died, and it’s really starting to fall apart. And as that corn dies or dries down, it’s going to rob nutrients and things from that stalk trying to fill that ear. So, it’s gonna pull everything out of that stalk so that corn plant in those areas where you have heavy drought would just cannibalize itself and fall to the ground. So, you could have corn on the ground, and then, in the same twelve rows, eight rows, whatever, you’re going to have corn standing and looking really nice,” Blake Mumm explains. “There’s gonna be a lot of variability across that field, especially in those areas where it ran out of moisture early. We could have a lot of stalk quality issues where corn goes on the ground.”

He adds that nighttime temperatures are going to play a big role. He says that even if it is just one degree warmer than normal yields can be reduced.

This month, temperatures continue to stay above normal. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says that could benefit this year’s late-planted crops.

According to Rippey, “With corn, typically by mid-September, we’re really keeping an eye on the northland to see if we get any freeze events early but even though crops are running a bit behind schedule this year, no sign of any widespread cold outbreaks. If anything, we’re still dealing with a little too much summer-like heat. So, we’ll go ahead and watch these crops maturing albeit a little bit late without too much concern for freeze injury as we head to the end of the season.”

The long-term forecast for the rest of the month keeps temperatures warm, but weather experts expect a cool down in October with the thermometer reading below normal.