We are finally getting some rain this afternoon, but boy has it ever been dry. It’s been close to a month our last rain.
As you can see from this picture, the corn has been “firing from the ground”. This means that the plant has run out of water and it is taking the nutrients out of the bottom leaves and putting them towards the ear. This is a self protection measure that the plant has to finish out producing the kernels on the ear of corn. A plant’s number one job is to produce kernels.
These pictures were taken one week apart. This week’s picture is lighter green and shows a lot more stress. Although the summer overall has been mild, the few days of 100 degree temperatures and hot winds have taken their toll along with the lack of rain.
Since the main goal is how many kernels of corn will be ready for harvest, let’s look at the ear. Luckily, it was mild enough during kernel development that this particular ear hardly “tipped back” or aborted kernels.
Right now the corn kernels are finishing out prior to harvest, and the drought impact will be on the kernel weight and the depth of the kernels.
So when will harvest be? The weather conditions adjust the amount of time from planting to harvest – for example, is it cool after the seeds are planted so it takes a long time before the plants pop up? Is it a mild summer and the plants aren’t getting the heat units it needs to progress forward?
It has been so dry. However, as I’m typing this we are finally getting some much needed rain!