Ag Weather Forum

Slow Corn, Soybean Crop Development

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
A soybean field southwest of Casey, Iowa was recently sprayed with herbicide to kill weeds. Only about 60% of soybean crops in Iowa are rated good to excellent. (DTN photo by Elaine Shein)

Corn and soybean development remains well-behind normal in the Midwest.

Corn silking is running 10-14 days behind normal in the western Midwest and likely two-to-three weeks behind normal in the eastern Midwest.

Soybean development is running 10 days behind normal in the western Midwest and around two weeks behind normal in the east. Of the major producing states, Nebraska continues to fare the best with 76% of the corn in good-to-excellent condition and 71% of the beans. Good-to-excellent conditions for corn and soybeans are only running around 60% in Minnesota and Iowa and around 40% in Illinois and Indiana.

The main issue facing corn and soybeans this growing season is the late planting which has led to very slow crop development, especially over eastern areas. It appears that crops will have a hard time catching up with the weather patterns we will be experiencing in the coming weeks. The hottest weather of the summer to date is expected through the end of the week. High temperatures will be in the middle to upper 90s Fahrenheit with lows in the middle to upper 70s. The effect of this heat will be to slow or shut down crop development due to heat stress both day and night.

The good news is that a major cold front is expected to move across the Midwest over the weekend bringing with it scattered moderate-to-heavy showers and thunderstorms followed by much cooler conditions. This rainfall will benefit crops, and the lower temperatures will ease crop stress.

The fact that we are not able to persist with the very hot weather in the Midwest is a good sign for crops going forward and would be very favorable if crops were developing at more normal levels.

However, the ability to play catch-up with crop development with this weather pattern seems unlikely as development is so far behind normal. Fall weather will be critical. The first fall freeze this year may go a long way in determining crop production. An early freeze could be devastating to crops, a late freeze could mitigate to a degree the impact of late crop development.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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