MOUNT VERNON — Knox County’s corn crop so far does not seem seriously affected by the hot, dry weather, but another week or so could change that.
“My corn’s doing really good right now,” said Jim Braddock, a farmer on Mount Gilead Road near Fredericktown. “But if we keep getting 98 degrees and no rain, I may have a different story if you call me next week.”
County Extension Director John Barker said Knox County has been lucky.
“We’ve had some rain recently, while other counties have been dryer,” he said.
Licking County has been dryer, he said, and the signs of stress in the crops are more obvious. On hot, sunny days, especially in the afternoon, leaves will start to curl lengthwise, to reduce sun exposure and retain moisture. He doesn’t think the crop yield is affected yet, but a couple more weeks without rain and it will be.
“We have a lot of good-looking corn fields in the county,” Barker said.
Corn is at a stage now where it needs an average of 0.1 to 0.15 inches of water per day, Barker said, with soybeans needing a little more.
When the corn tassels out and when it begins to develop ears its water demand will increase.
The soybeans are slightly more affected than the corn.
“Soybeans are uneven,” Barker said, noting that some have germinated and grown and in the same field, or even the same row, there will be places that didn’t get started or are way behind.