As farmers well know, pollination is the most critical phase of corn development for determining potential corn yields. Corn pollination has already begun to occur in the Delta and Southeast Regions, while it will eventually expand into the Midwest in the weeks ahead. Because of significant delays in planting, corn pollination will occur much later than normal. Fifty percent corn-pollination date is expected to be on July 27, 10 days later than the five-year average and 15 days behind 2018. The eastern part of the Midwest will see the biggest delay, where it will occur three weeks later than the five-year average.
The delayed development in the Midwest could push pollination into what’s typically a drier time of year. Normal precipitation will occur during the expected pollination window around early August in states like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Late pollination increases the potential for stress on the corn crop in all these areas. While floodwaters have receded in some parts of the Midwest, there are still solid precipitation chances in the largest corn-producing areas across the region, including Iowa.