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Cool, wet spring could lead to hot, dry summer

In the past 141 years, no spring has been quite as wet as 2013. Yet Iowa State University Extension Climatologist Dr. Elwynn Taylor says this year’s corn crop could grow in the midst of the longest dry period in a while.

No prediction, no forecast, but we do have some history to look at on that. And the history has shown that it is not uncommon for a very wet, cold spring to turn to a very hot, dry summer. Extremes of the pendulum as it were, swinging from one extreme to the other during the season, not at all unknown, and some of our worst fears, almost every farmer will tell you, are the ones that did just this: started off very wet, very cold, and after the first or the second week of July, switching to warmer than usual and dryer than usual. We hope that doesn’t happen, but we do have to be aware that it has in the past.

He says the crop is so late that yield potential can’t recover; by his estimation, the national corn yield will be at 149 bushels per acre, compared to trend line of 157.4 bushel per acre. That estimate, he says, is exacerbated by the perils of a cool wet spring.