Corn has been shedding pollen in all parts of Iowa, meaning that we are in the critical pollination/grain set phase of the season. As I wrote last week, "Thankfully, Iowa farmers in most places started the growing season with ample soil moisture reserves. As the month progresses, rain stress, especially if it is exacerbated by above-average temperatures, will be a continuing concern." We did have a slightly cooler than average week, which helps--but with only very scattered rainfall. Soybean fields in many areas are slow to close the rows, and rain would help there as well.
On the map, I have posted the percentage of normal rainfall since June 1. Rain is more than welcome now virtually anywhere in Iowa.
Rich Pope is an extension program specialist working with the Iowa State University Corn and Soybean Initiative.
This article originally appeared on page 232 of the IC-498(19) -- July 16, 2007 issue.