Crop Report, from Rich Bubb

July 18, 2007 |

 A few weeks ago my wife and I took a day trip to Shipshewana, an Amish community in northern Indiana specializing in agribusiness and tourism. Along the drive there I noticed many fields with monstrously large portable/movable irrigation spraying systems. Some of them were in operation, spraying water in mass quantities on crops. The fields using this method were nice and green. Those that weren't were stunted.

The corn crops we drove past had their uppermost leaves pointing straight up, which is a sign the corn needs water. We saw "tasseling" but few ears of corn on the stalks. We had heard some farmers are getting ready to plow under their existing crops and wait it out until next year, but didn't see any evidence of this yet. My drive to work takes me through about 20 miles of farmland, so it'll be easy to see this happen.. if it does.

Scott Brooks explains:

It's when corn is tassling that rain is most critical. When corn tassles is a largely a function of when it was planted. The amount of rain it gets in the pre-tassling stage also plays a role in when it will tassle, but not as much as when it was planted. Tassling occurs most often in July. 


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