Carolinas to See Yield Losses in Corn Due to Excessive Heat

The excessive heat that’s gripped the country the past couple of weeks appears to have taken a toll on corn in the Carolinas. George Stabler, area agronomist with Pioneer Hi-bred:

“That is the situation over the last two plus weeks, there has been some very intense weather. Its taken a toll on the later planted crops. The later planted corn crops are suffering, especially in North Carolina. Some of the earlier planted corn may have been far enough along, that though it sustained some damage, it was still able to pollinate and be ok. But the yield will be hurt because it didn’t have the opportunity to completely fill out.”

Stabler says that corn planting in central and western North Carolina was strung out so that much of the crop was at prime pollination stage when the intense heat set in:

“Especially in central and western North Carolina it looks like a lot of the crop was strung out planting wise and a lot of the later planted crop, the last two weeks has affected the pollination. We are very concerned that something called blanket out may happen, that is when the corn doesn’t pollinate well or the ears may be drastically reduced in size.”

While there are no ‘do overs’ when it comes to pollinating corn, Stabler says especially in the western part of the state, there’s always the silage option:

“That is one benefit, especially in western North Carolina, we do have the opportunity that if things do turn south, we can chop it or turn it to the silage operations for dairys. We have a lot of beef cattle that can utilize the silage.”

As far as South Carolina, Stabler says he anticipates some yield loss as well:

“It looks like in South Carolina that a lot of the crop was far enough along that it will be damaged, but a lot of the crop did get far enough along that it was pollinated. The ear size and the amount of kernels will be less. So our yields will be hurt.

Three weeks ago we were looking at the best crop in years. But ten days of very intese weather has really turned this crop around.”

For more Pioneer “In the Field” Reports, click here. Also, at the bottom of the homepage, take a look at our poll question concerning potential yield loss in corn. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.