The recent extreme heat wave may have caused yield loss for some crops

Recent high temperatures across the Corn Belt could have some impact on yield this year.

Agronomist Trey Stephens with Becks says the corn crop in Southeast Nebraska likely took a hit. He says anything that was planted earlier and hit pollination before the temperatures rolled in has done slightly better.

A farmer in Central Nebraska tells Brownfield Ag News recent rainfall helped save some of his plants after they began to shut down when temperatures soared over 100 degrees. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says it was not just corn affected by the heat.

“Sorghum started off the year ok, but we did see an increase in heat late in the month, also some dryness in some of the key production areas. By August 1st, 55% of the U.S. organic production area was in drought. Now, cotton, an interesting story there, because some of the hardest hit areas by the July heat were in the Texas cotton production areas. Still though, by August 1st, only 20% of the U.S. cotton production area was in drought. Given the importance of Texas to that national picture, and the fact that some of those heat areas aren’t actually experiencing drought, we do see relatively low cotton conditions because of the degradation and conditions in Texas. As we move to the far North 1 crop, that was a relatively disappointing performance late in the year. With spring wheat, we saw some real sharp declines in condition, and you can really blame that on increasing drought late in the growing season.”

Rippey says at the beginning of July, just 15 percent of the spring wheat production area was in drought. By August 1, that number had sky rocketed to just under 50 percent.