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Angie Peltier


Angie Peltier
Former Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture



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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.

Precipitation and Temperature: Implications for crop development

Posted by Angie Peltier - Weather

Precipitation

April and May both saw above average precipitation, while June and July had below average precipitation (Table). The cool temperatures and the resulting slow crop growth that have continued into August have kept crop water demand lower than in a typical growing year. This lack of precipitation during the growing season has created soil conditions in some areas in which lack of soil moisture can easily become a yield-limiting factor. In the western Illinois crop reporting district, the USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates that only 30 percent of the topsoil has adequate water to support crop growth. Subsoil conditions are not much better – only 38 percent has adequate soil moisture, while 8 percent is estimated to be very short.

 

Temperature

Average high temperatures in both June and July were 2 degrees below the 30-year average.

Temperatures have large implications for crop growth and development, as can be seen in the USDA-NASS's most recent Illinois Weather and Crops Report released August 12, 2013. Crops require heat, typically measured in growing degree days (GDDs), in order to reach maturity. The cool high temperatures throughout most of the growing season this year have led to the accumulation of fewer GDDs than at this time in years past.

Corn plants have reached the "dough" or R4 growth stage when the milky, white fluid in kernels has thickened to a paste-like consistency. Plants have reached the dent or R5 growth stage when the top of kernels has dented in and have begun drying down. State-wide, 50 percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage and 6 percent has reached the dent stage. We can compare corn development in 2013 to development over the past 5 years. The five-year average for this time in August has 64 percent of corn at the dough stage and 26 percent at dent.

Corn development will continue to be retarded if cool temperatures and dry soils persist. Dr. Emerson Nafziger recently wrote an article for the Bulletin that summarizes his thoughts on the 2013 growing year entitled, "Will the corn and soybean crops get finished?".

 

MAY 2013 WEATHER

Soil Temperature

Air Temp

Growing degree units

4" (Bare)

4" (Sod)

(°F)

-------------------(°F)-----------------

Monthly average high

72

Monthly total: 425

69

63

Monthly average low

53

59

59

Observed high (date)

89 (15)

1 (11, 26)

85 (17)

72 (31)

Observed low (date)

35 (12)

25.5 (1)

43 (13

46 (3)


JUNE 2013 WEATHER

Soil Temperature

Air Temp

Growing degree units

4" (Bare)

4" (Sod)

(°F)

-------------------(°F)-----------------

Monthly average high

79

Monthly total: 586

82

73

Monthly average low

60

69

69

Observed high (date)

92 (13,24,25)

4.5 (2)

98 (23)

82 (28)

Observed low (date)

47 (2)

28.5 (21)

54 (4)

62 (6)


JULY 2013 WEATHER

Soil Temperature

Air Temp

Growing degree units

4" (Bare)

4" (Sod)

(°F)

-------------------(°F)-----------------

Monthly average high

83

Monthly total: 670

87

80

Monthly average low

62

73

73

Observed high (date)

94 (18,19)

9 (28)

97 (7,8)

86 (20,21)

Observed low (date)

48 (28)

29.5 (10)

86 (20,21)

68 (3,4)


2013 PRECIPITATION (in inches)

Since January 1

Month

Monthly Total

Monthly departure from average

Total accumulation

Total departure

January

2.41

+0.89

2.41

+0.89

February

2.17

+0.63

4.58

+1.52

March

2.23

-0.30

6.81

+1.22

April

7.21

+3.33

14.02

+4.55

May

10.55

+5.78

24.57

+10.33

June

2.28

-2.21

26.85

+8.12

July

2.01

-2.10

28.86

+6.02



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