Corn crops thirsty for rain - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Corn crops thirsty for rain

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A crackling stalk of corn baked in the 100º heat Monday.

"We haven't had rain since June 4th. Corn needs three tenths of an inch everyday during this reproductive stage," said Rad Yager, county extension agent.

About five days after rain or irrigation yields begin to plummet. "Our corn crops can decline about 5% per day," he said.

So farmers, who can afford it, have been forced to irrigate multiple times, in the past couple of weeks. A costly task. But extension agents say because of the price of corn right now at four dollars a bushel, it's worth the money.

"That can help them put money back on their bottom line," said Yager.

Another problem is heat. Heavy spring rains washed out acres of crops. "Some corn was replanted three times probably within 45 days so that youngest corn just now in pollination," said Yager.

100º temperatures can easily have an adverse effect on pollination, again decreasing yields.

And yet another problem growing for farmers due to the lack of rain is weed control.

"Some chemicals we use to fight weeds do better when washed into the soil. It keeps weeds from germinating," he said.

All issues that may continue growing during the dry summer months.

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