VIBORG, S.D. & GARRETSON, S.D. (KELO) — The heat wave across KELOLAND is not just affecting people, but it’s also having an impact on the crops.
With a lack of moisture and an increase in temperatures, the corn crop in some areas of South Dakota are seeing some severe heat stress. This will impact the yields and quality of the grain.
This is what the corn crop looks like at Chad Nelsen’s operation near Viborg.
“You can see when the corn gets this way it gets a curl to it and once it curls it doesn’t ever really uncurl. When it gets to a certain point it just kind of goes into limp mode and it just takes everything it’s got to put it back into the ear,” said Nelsen.
He’s worried that he might not be able to produce enough corn to meet his contracts because of the heat stress.
“The way it looks today, we are probably going to raise somewhere around 40% of what we typically grow in this country,” said Nelsen. “Most of the time the corn makes around 170 to 180 bushel, I would really hope for 60 to 80 at this point would be the top end.”
He sells a lot of his crop for feed production, and says he will have to chop significantly more crop to get the same amount of feed as he would in a normal year.
“This year it looks like we are going to end up chopping about 35% more acres to get the same amount of silage rounded up,” said Nelsen.
However, further northeast near Garretson, the corn looks a lot better.
“Right now we are seeing a little bit of heat stress, the corn is curled up a little bit and the leaves are pointing up a little bit, but other than that it’s doing pretty good,” said Bruce Carlson, farmer.
Carlson says conditions are slightly drier than normal. He also says utilizing no-till and cover crops also makes a difference.
“I feel like it has helped, I feel like we’ve taken in moisture when it does rain, that we’ve taken it in and it hasn’t run off,” said Carlson.
However his crops aren’t ready to harvest just yet and there’s more heat in the forecast.
“It does concern me, you know obviously the yields will probably be going down, but you feel like you did the best that you could you could at the beginning of the season trying to drought proof your crop and trying to do these preventative measures,” said Carlson.
“You take what the good Lord gives you sometimes and you got to have faith in what we’re doing and some gratitude that we get to carry on everyday and its not fun but we get through it,” said Nelsen.
Typically they see around 26 inches in a year, and right now they haven’t even gotten half of their average rainfall. Nelson says they will need to have anywhere from 5 to 7 inches this fall to get the conditions somewhat back to normal.