Rain May be Too Late For Farmers

Natalie Potts

JACKSON, Tenn. - Corn extension specialists said local corn crops have been in danger for weeks while battling scorching temperatures and dry soil. Although many prayers were answered with rain showering over West Tennessee the past few days, the moisture came a little too late to save corn crops, according to experts.

Jackson residents said after weeks of temperatures in the triple digits, they are happy to see puddles and rain clouds. "I'm glad we got it. It cooled down Jackson a little bit," said Princessa Sylvester, resident.

Angela McClure, who is a corn and soy bean extension specialist, said farmers have been hoping for moisture and cooler temperatures for their corn that was planted early. "We've been kind of living from a rain to rain all summer or all season," said McClure.

Experts said, It has been four weeks since crops have seen a significant rain throughout West Tennessee. With the last two weeks being the most crucial for the corn's pollination phase. "We've already gone through that process, because we planted early we pollinated earlier this year," said McClure.

After evaluating many corn fields through out the state, specialists said, the rain came too late to significantly improve corn yields this year. McClure said, if the corn has dropped or turned down, it can't be saved. "It's turned down, which is not typical for corn this early it just basically ran out of moisture. Rain won't turn this crop around, it's basically far enough along that its done what its going to do," said McClure.

Experts said farmers will begin preliminary evaluations of their crop yield this week. So far damage has varied on a field by field basis. For those who have fields with an 80 percent loss of yield or more, experts advise farmers to consider salvaging their corn for silage feed.


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