Heat beginning to affect IL corn crops

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Many farmers say this has been a tough year for corn. First a wet conditions kept many from staying on planting schedule around the end of winter. Now, hot temperatures are starting to threaten crop yields according to experts.

Jordan Padgett is a crop specialist for Southern FS, who says most crops are probably needing some extra moisture right now. However, the condition of corn in this heat is making them pray for rain.

"It's in the growth stages right now where it needs to be the healthiest plant it can be," he said.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Currently, most corn fields have their plants at the growth stage where the size of ears and the physical yield will be determined. Without extra water, the corn isn't pulling the most nutrients it can from soil for maximum yield, he says.

Padgett says you can tell if a corn plant isn't getting enough water if it's leaves start to 'roll over' on themselves. This is a sign that the plant is holding onto the moisture from the stock and not spreading it through the plant simply because there isn't enough water.

With a couple more good rains, he believes crops will be okay for harvest in the fall. If not, it won't be good.

"We get a couple more weeks of this dry weather and we're gonna start to see yield decreases," he said.

Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved.