The First Harvest Farm Management, LLC plot received a wonderful .80″ rain in the Saturday (July 14) storms that crossed over West Central Illinois. What a great rainfall, and excellent timing with the soils rapidly drying out with recent daytime highs in the mid 90’s.
As we reach the second half of July, the various hybrids in the plot are rapidly progressing thru the reproductive stage R3, commonly called the Kernel Milk Stage. From R3 stage, approximately 880 Growing Degree Units (GDU’s) are needed to complete physiological maturity for the crop. We know it has been very warm this summer, and an interesting piece of data from the Illinois Climate Network, Crop Degree-Day Calculator, courtesy of the Illinois State Water Survey, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program (WARM) indicates at the Perry Orr Ag Center location on Rte. 104 west of Perry, 1887 GDU’s have been accumulated since planting. The 11-year average for the same site at this time of the growing season, based on the plot planting date of April 28 would normally be 1340 GDU’s. For 2018, the various hybrids in the FHFM plot have accumulated 547 GDU’s above the average for Pike County. This rapid accumulation of GDU’s is pushing the crop along to maturity at a very quick pace. In this part of the Midwest, around 2700 GDU’s are necessary for physiological maturity of the corn plant, and we could easily reach that level by mid-August based on recent daily temperature ranges.