Corn grows 16 inches in one week

DES MOINES (AP) -- The recent hot, humid weather helped some corn crops grow as much as 16 inches last week, state agriculture officials said.

"It's perfect growing conditions right now, even the soybeans are growing well," said Palle Pedersen, an agronomist with the Iowa State University Extension.

He said the crops, which were planted late because of wet, cold weather earlier this spring, are starting to catch up to their normal growth rate and are looking healthy.

"It's in excellent shape ... They are dark green, looking perfect," he said.

Pedersen said temperatures were expected to stay in the mid-80s to lower 90s throughout the week, giving even more opportunity for corn growth. It also will be humid, he said.


"We will be up in that temperature range where the crop is just happy. We aren't happy ... but the crops like it," he said.

Pedersen saw the first cornfield start tasseling over the weekend and expects tassles in many other fields to emerge this week.

As clouds filled the skies Monday over central Iowa, Pedersen said that area and the north-central region of the state don't need any more precipitation.

"We need some dry days now," he said.

The southern parts of the state could, however, use more moisture.

"You can start seeing drought problems out there," Pedersen said.

According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture's weekly crop report on Monday, topsoil moisture rated 3 percent very short, 13 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus across Iowa. Subsoil moisture rated 3 percent very short, 15 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus.

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