How is Mother Nature Treating Corn during 1997?
August 21, 1997 4(22):129-131
Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist
As we go into the last month of the 1997 growing season, many farmers are asking
about the kind of season we have been having for corn. Right now the corn crop "looks"
pretty good in the areas I have traveled. In general, precipitation has been good
with some scattered dry areas in northwest and southeast Wisconsin. More than anything
most areas need heat units. Growing Degree Unit (GDU) accumulation is starting to
lag behind a typical year. Figure 1 shows GDU accumulation for 1997 and the 30-year
average between 1961 and 1990 at Arlington, WI. For most of 1997, we have been below
average. About 2400 GDU are required to achieve maturity for a 105 day RM hybrid.
If we project GDU accumulation using 30-year average temperatures, we will not achieve
2400 GDU until the end of October; well past the average killing frost date of October
4. Figure 2 shows GDU accumulation for corn during 1988, 1992, 1993 and 1994 at
Arlington, WI. For harvesting guidelines during "cool" seasons click