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Forecasts indicate above-average and variable corn yields

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Specialist

Much of the corn in Minnesota is in the dent stage of kernel development. At this time, stress to corn from dry conditions can impact yield by reducing kernel size.

To evaluate the impact of this season’s weather on corn yield potential and its spatial variability across the Corn Belt, including three locations in Minnesota, yield forecasts were made on August 24 by University of Nebraska researchers as part of a multi-state project. Statewide forecasts of corn yield also were developed. Updated forecasts are planned for early September.

These forecasts, along with USDA’s statewide yield forecasts and weekly crop reports for Minnesota, indicate favorable corn yields for Minnesota as a whole. However, this year’s weather-related challenges to corn production, including frost, excessive rainfall, hail, and wind damage, are expected to result in considerable variability in corn yield among fields and regions of the state.

Reports from across Minnesota are that some fields have greater-than-normal variability in kernel number among plants. Corn in these fields was typically injured by frost in May. Plants with fewer kernels may have been slower to recover following frost injury, putting them at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring plants and delaying their pollination until hotter and drier conditions.

For more educational resources on corn production, visit Extension’s corn production website.

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