A. Planting and Early Growth Conditions – Spring (March – May)
Timely planting was adversely impacted by cold temperatures, snow, and rain
Weather factors impacting corn yield and quality include the amount of precipitation and the temperature just prior to and during the corn-growing season. These weather factors interact with the corn variety and the soil fertility to influence final grain yield and quality. Grain yield is a function of the number of plants per acre, the number of kernels per plant, and the weight of each kernel. Cold or wet weather at planting could reduce plant numbers, or hinder plant growth, which may result in lower yields. Some dryness at planting time is beneficial, as it promotes a deeper root system to access water later in the season.
Overall, 2013 had a cool, wet spring, especially the Gulf and northern Pacific Northwest growing areas, resulting in producers switching to soybeans, or not planting at all. Across the United States, there were over 3.5 million acres that were anticipated for corn, but were never planted to corn.
While the eastern part of the Gulf ECA warmed up in April, the rest of the Corn Belt had record late rains and snowfall, even in early May. However, there was a large temperature swing in mid-May. In Nebraska, one town experienced a temperature shift from 0.6 to 37.8°C over two days. Producers rushed to the fields when they dried out and caught up to the average percent of corn planted by the end of May.