The report issued earlier this spring by the Climate Corporation, a crop insurance company, that says that in the westerns states of the Corn Belt, your odds of beating a hot week for pollination are much greater if the corn pollinates before July 15-21, but in the Eastern Corn Belt, the benefit is negligible, may play itself out this year. Corn has been tasseling for two weeks in parts of Indiana, and many fields are either tasseling or about to tassel in the central part of the Corn Belt. That's about a week or more ahead of normal, notes Bob Nielsen, Purdue University Extension corn specialist. But if weather predictions hold and the temperatures are warmer than normal, there may be little or no advantage this year for reaching that stage early.
The Climate Corporation defines a hot week for pollination as any week that has two days of 95 degrees F or higher. Some of the corn that has tasseled already probably hit such a week. Or if it wasn't that hot, it was so dry that it didn't matter.
What happens over the next couple of weeks across the Corn Belt will go a long ways toward telling what kind of crop this will be nationally in 2012, and how markets will react. While some years markets tend to react to weather scares, this time the market seems to be waiting for proof of damage before it reacts, says Chris Hurt, a Purdue University ag economist. If pollination is pretty much wrapped up by July 15, dues to early planting, it will go a long way toward determining if there is going to be significant damage or not.
The northern states appear to be in the best shape, since they have received the most rainfall, weather experts say. Indiana is likely in the worst condition. The places to watch are Illinois, the eastern two-thirds of Iowa and central Nebraska. There were some signs of it turning dry in those areas. Whether those areas stay dry or pick up ample moisture will likely say a lot about this year's corn crop and expected market activity, Hurt says.