Everyone is wondering "how bad is it?"
First the bad news
Corn is tasseling at a shorter stature than usual, but that difference would only be noticeable to those who raise or study corn. The part of the corn plant above the ear is the photosynthetic factory that "builds the ear" — a small factory equals a smaller ear. Given the hot and dry forecast for the next seven days, the corn crop is not going to have the water, energy or the temperature to boost the size or efficiency of the photosynthetic factory that builds kernels of corn.
Now the good news
Visually the corn looks pretty good. West central Illinois always seems to raise a crop and never has a crop failure. I WILL have some corn to deliver this fall and winter, which is a pleasant thought. The sweet corn has nice large ears (another pleasant thought). Seed agronomists are not sending out worrisome newsletters or e-mails “yet.”
The possibility of 200-bu./acre yields coming from "whole fields" is gone. I think many of my fields with the best soils do have the possibility of averaging 150 bu./acre. A little math shows that Kent is reducing his corn crop by 25%.
The soybeans I planted in March look great and should be ready for harvest by mid to late September. The soybeans planted May 29 after rye silage was harvested also look great. A rain 10 days ago is keeping the corn from rolling its leaves and looking dead.
Last week we traveled to central Nebraska. Crops in central Iowa looked average height, maturity and health. Crops in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska looked great!
The Nebraska trip took us to the National Junior Shorthorn Cattle Show in Grand Island, Neb. Renee got second place in her class with Rosie, her heifer. She placed fifth in her age group in cattle judging, which thrilled her since she is now in the age group with the “older” kids.
Renee and I designed the T-shirts for the Illinois exhibitors. The rifleman in me came up with the theme "Western Chute (yes chute is spelled correct) Out." Renee came up with the graphic idea on the back. Since the theme was Old West, Illinois exhibitors made a booth to look like an old western jail and put up Wanted posters of themselves.
Kent’s reaction to the heat
Get up and outside by 5 a.m., work outside until 9 a.m., then do indoor things (like nap) until evening when it is cool enough to work outside again. Carol likes the hot weather since it brings me in the house and ready for a "sit down" lunch every day at noon.
Thursday, I sold 2012 and 2013 crop corn, 2012 crop soybeans, and 2013 crop wheat since I was thinking the price top is near.