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Heat helping area corn growth this summer

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 08:46:10-04

While the heat has been on the minds of many, and ways to cool down during it, there's another group that has been thinking about it quite a bit: farmers.

Agronomist John McNamara says the weather is cooperating for the most part around the Omaha area.

"It's been raining, and we've had plenty of heat. So, you know, the product of the corn growing so fast is generally a result of that. And that it's been ample amount of moisture and ample amount of heat," says McNamara.

Most nearby farmers and their corn are doing well so far. In fact, the heat has pushed corn maturity a bit ahead of schedule.

"According to various weather stations and the University's newsletter, CropWatch, we're running about two weeks ahead of normal. Is that gonna be good or bad? Tell me what the next three months of weather is gonna be like, and we might be able to have an idea about that. right now, the way the moisture and heat is setting up, it's a very good thing," adds McNamara.

Which explains one phrase you may be familiar with and how you have been mentally measuring the corn as you drive by it: "knee high by the 4th of July." McNamara explains that is not always the case.

"Knee high by the 4th of July is probably fairly accurate. However, we were also looking at later planting dates 10, 20 years ago and now earlier planting dates in April and hybrids that get out of the soil a little bit quicker and develop a little bit faster. So now we're angling more towards tasseling by the 4th of July."

Even though warmer than average overnight temperatures can negatively impact corn and kernel growing, that isn't the case here yet.

"Corn crop, and the crops in general, are in great shape for the middle of July. In my 25 years of stomping through corn fields, things really couldn't look too much better from a production standpoint," says McNamara.

And while things seem to be going fairly well right now, there are many days and many weather changes until we get to harvest in October.