Growing Degree Days: leading to record yields?

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Growing degree days — some farmers live by them, some say they don't matter much. But IowaState meteorologist Elwynn Taylor says GDDs can help predict yield even around mid summer.

"Every year that a new yield record is set, we have above normal accumulation of GDDs before silking, and slower than usual accumulation after silking,•bCrLf he says. "That pattern happened this summer in the "I•bCrLf states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana), so we have the ingredients for a record high yield. In Indiana we had 300 extra (compared to normal) GDDs by May 28, and then the weather cooled after July 1. Most of the corn belt is behaving this way, except for Des Moines and westward.

DID YOU KNOW•Where is the true center of the Corn Belt, at least based on weather factors? According to Taylor, the corn belt is divided east and west by Interstate 35 from Minnesota to Texas. The weather west of that line is controlled by Pacific ocean weather patterns; crops to the east by Atlantic ocean weather patterns.

Now you know.

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