In the Midwest, there are few plants that truly hold as much power as corn. Corn is the top piece of produce that comes out of the farms and fields in this part of the country, and it is incredibly important to their economy. Recently, corn crops have been showing signs of issues in their growth due to climate change’s effects on weather. The excessive heat that the Midwest has seen, in combination with the lack of rainfall, has very negatively affected the crops of the year.
One corn grower, Dolf Ivener, has spoken on the growth issues he has noticed in this year’s crop.
Dolf showed the discoloration his corn is showing this year. The corn has already turned from a vibrant green to a dried-out-looking brown. The corn stalks are also far shorter than they were in past years. Ivener expressed how typically the corn would be around eight or nine feet tall. Currently, the stalks come in around seven feet tall.
Ivener theorized that the inconsistencies in the weather this past year affected the corn.
Ivener personally oversees several farms, and he has tracked the precipitation for each. One received up to twenty-one inches of rain while another only got approximately fourteen inches. He said simply visibly comparing the two farms he could see a stark difference in the growth.
Additionally, this year has seen record-breaking heat in just about every part of the country, including the Midwest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop report for the week rated 53% of the conditions being good to excellent. Just two weeks ago, it was 58%. Experts expect this number to continue to lower as the drought continues and heat pushes on.
With the weather the way it is, crops have sped up their maturing process, reaching maturity far too early.
To combat the early maturing, farmers will be forced to harvest their crops early, which will lead to more issues in the long run as it affects the growth schedule. Furthermore, even with early harvesting, many expect to lose a lot of the crops this year, viewing the loss as something inevitable at this point.