Corn looks good, prices remain low

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Farm Forum

At about halfway through the growing season, corn is doing well despite unusual weather.

A cool air front made its way from Canada this week, and much of the corn belt saw temperatures that were well below average. Aberdeen National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Hintz said that while these cooler temperatures are uncommon for this time of year, he said it’s not entirely unheard of either.

Mark Rosenberg, a weeds field specialist with the Aberdeen Regional SDSU Extension Center, said that the cooler weather likely won’t harm corn. He said it’s when temperatures reach the mid to upper 90s that problems can arise, and noted that current conditions are favorable.

“At this point the corn seems right around target as far as our growing degree days are concerned,” he said.

Rosenberg said the weather is expected to warm up soon and that corn is doing well for the most part. He said there are a few spots in the area that may have seen too much water or suffered from hail damage, but he said that those type of problems are expected to occur.

Laura Edwards, climate field specialist with the Extension Center, said issues can occur as temperatures rise throughout this week and into next week as conditions have been slightly dry as of late. She said as long as the area sees some rainfall in the coming days, the crops can handle the heat.

Since temperatures have been nowhere near freezing, Edwards said that overall the cooler weather has been beneficial for much of the corn belt as it reduces stress on the plants.

But good weather doesn’t always guarantee a good year for farmers. Corn prices have dropped in recent weeks and have gone down by more than 50 percent from last year according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Grain Marketing Manager at North Central Farmers Elevator Craig Haugaard said that corn prices are expected to remain low. He said this year will likely be tough economically for many farmers, but that it ultimately comes down to each producer and how they’ve operated and managed risk throughout the last few years.

Haugaard said that with the good weather conditions, this year’s crop will likely produce a surplus, which puts pressure on prices. He said the low prices have already begun to influence the farming industry nationwide and within the international community, and said countries like Brazil have begun planting less corn.

“We’re already starting to see the impact of these low prices around the world” he said.