The month of June has been hot across many locations in Kansas. The combination of heat and drought stress during certain growth stages in corn can be problematic. Read more from Cropping Specialist Ignacio Ciampitti and the Kansas Climate team.
The Climate Prediction Center and the National Weather Service have issued heat outlooks for the weekend and continuing through the end of July. Even western portions of Kansas can expect elevated dew points and increased low temperatures.
Where dryland corn has been under severe drought or heat stress, producers have to decide whether to leave it and harvest for grain, salvage the crop for silage or hay, or leave the crop in the field for its residue value. Learn more about each of these options in this article.
Summer brings the heat, often amplified by higher humidity. Warmer-than-normal temperatures, especially at night, can cause heat stress to develop rapidly in livestock. The Kansas Mesonet has an Animal Comfort Tool that can help monitor conditions and aid farmers in making the best management decisions.
As we face an extended period of high temperatures across Kansas, often exacerbated by strong winds, farmers should remain conscious of how heat stress can elevate the risk posed to summer crops by various pests.
The July heatwave came at a particularly critical period for the Kansas corn crop this year. Heat stress will have more of an impact on corn during the reproductive stage of growth when combined with drought stress. Stress conditions were very severe in parts of central, south central, and southeast Kansas.
Since the end of June, rainfall has been sporadic and uneven across Kansas. In central and western Kansas, several corn fields under dryland conditions have been suffering a combination of drought and heat stress. Common symptoms of drought/heat stress in corn are discussed in this article.
Dryland soybean fields have started to experience heat stress combined with long periods without rainfall. This article reviews potential symptoms of drought and heat stress on soybeans. Producers should scout their fields for signs of stress in order to make timely decisions as the growing season progresses.