IV. CROP AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
HIGHLIGHTS Weather plays a large role in the corn planting process, growing conditions, and grain development, which, in turn, impacts final grain yield and quality. Overall, 2013 was a delayed growing year in the U.S. Corn Belt, with much of the area experiencing a cool, wet spring, then drought stress and cool conditions in summer, and cool, wet weather for harvest. The following highlights the key events of the 2013 growing season:
- Record flooding and cool weather delayed planting and crop growth in areas of 10 of the 12 states studied, but helped alleviate the majority of the long-term drought areas of 2012.
- An intense, short-term drought occurred in the summer for most of the Gulf and Pacific Northwest growing regions, but the severity was offset by cool temperatures and plentiful groundwater from spring rains.
- The delayed planting and cool summer delayed grain maturation, then rains and early snows prevented timely harvests in many Gulf and Pacific Northwest fields.
- Overall, the good pollination weather, combined with abundant groundwater and cool summer temperatures, led to a record total U.S. corn production in 2013.
The following sections describe how the 2013 growing season weather impacted the corn yield and quality in the U.S. Corn Belt.