Corn has already reached the kernel milk stage in most parts of the Corn Belt, except for in the eastern region. In addition, sites in the southern fringe of the area are well ahead of schedule in terms of growth. Within the next two weeks, this corn is expected to fully mature.
The experts note, however, that forecasted yield potential is highly variable across rainfed sites. There is a high probability (75%+) of above-average yield at about half of these sites, which are primarily located in Nebraska, Illinois, and southern Minnesota. On the other hand, there is a high probability of below-average yield for sites including northeastern Kansas, northern Missouri, and southwestern Iowa.
Regardless, the experts note that high temperatures during earlier crop stages hastened corn development overall this season. Corn will reach black layer one to three weeks earlier than normal in most regions, and for irrigated corn, there is a high chance of near-average yields for the majority of sites.
For rainfed sites, the temperatures throughout the rest of August will likely determine the remainder of the growing trend. The experts also note that they did not take certain factors into consideration in their predictions, including hail/flooding damage, replanting, disease and nitrate leaching. In these instances, yields will understandably be lower than the estimates provided.