The early part of July has resulted in favorable growing conditions in much of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, with adequate moisture and above-normal temperatures. Corn and soybean development has extended at a rapid pace since June 25, as a result of the warm temperatures, and rapid accumulation of growing degree units (GDUs) during that period. The total GDU accumulation since May 1 is running near normal at most locations in the region; however, GDU accumulation and crop development is still well behind normal in many areas of central Minnesota. GDU accumulation since May 1, 2011, at the U of M Southern Research Center at Waseca was 1035 as of July 8, which is right on normal for that date. GDU accumulation had been running slightly behind normal through May and June.
Some portions of the region have been impacted from crop loss due to hail, wind and excessive rainfall resulting from numerous severe storms in late June and early July. The excessive rainfall and very moist soil conditions have lead to some yellowing of corn and soybeans, especially in low areas of fields; however, that condition has improved somewhat in the past week or so. There are many areas in southern Minnesota and much of central Minnesota with very uneven corn due to late planting and very wet soil conditions during most of June.
Much of the corn in southern Minnesota is now 5-6 ft. tall, and will likely be in the tasseling and pollination stage during the next two weeks, which is a very critical time for corn development. Many areas received some beneficial rainfall this past weekend, which is very timely for crop development. There is virtually no moisture stress on the corn in most areas, and temperatures have been fairly moderate thus far, which should bode well for enhancing the yield potential of the 2011 corn crop in these areas. Producers are also finishing postemergence herbicide applications in soybeans for weed control, after significant delays due to wet field conditions. Some producers are also sidedressing some additional nitrogen to their corn crop to supplement lost nitrogen in areas of heavy rainfall.
Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.