How the heat is affecting this year’s crops

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NASHUA, Iowa – Farmers have seen it all. Between a wet spring, late planting for many and now the extreme heat it’s been a rough season for those in north Iowa and southern Minnesota.

For the past couple of days the weather has been the topic of many people’s conversations.

Today is no different, but these farmers are gathering to talk about how the weather we’ve had this year will affect their crops.

As far as the heat…

“It’s a blessing and a curse, both,” says Corn Agronomist, Roger Elmore.

Late crops that were planted around the first of June will need the heat to mature before the first frost, but early crops…

“The ones planted in April through middle of May, that crop will speed. What happens is high temperatures speed the crop to develop faster that it should,” Elmore explains.

He is checking on crops in a corn-study that was planted on the Iowa State test farm in Nashua.

These three were planted at different times one in April, one in mid May and the third in early June.

Local farmers gathered at the test farm for the annual Fall Field Day event, so they could be briefed on current conditions and what to expect for the coming harvest.

“All the outcomes between the crop will be dry and die early to the crop will be green and immature and maybe get hit by frost… Any of those outcomes and in-between are possible because we don’t know what the weather is going to be like,” says Agriculture Professor, Charles Hurburgh.

And because of that uncertainty, Hurburgh warms farmers to be cautious in the coming months.

“Everybody is going to have to pay attention to basic principles and do them right because there probably won’t be a lot of leeway for making mistakes or cutting corners.”

While the roller-coaster weather has made it a difficult season for local farmers, it could actually get worse.

That is, if an early frost would hit.

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