Summer's heat is hurting corn crops

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PORTLAND, Mich. (WILX) - We received plenty of rain Wednesday but many corn farmers want more. Corn crops usually like the heat but just like any crop they also need water.

Last year's crop of corn hit record highs but due to high temperatures, we're not even close to those numbers.

"The corn is shorter than it usually is. Typically, it's about 10 to 12 feet," said Jeff Sandborn, corn farmer.

But now his crop is barely reaching 8 inches.

"Last year, i don't remember many 90 degree days, if there was any," Sandborn said. "This year, there's been almost, it seems like a couple a week."

While corn generally likes the heat and sunny days, too much of it isn't s good thing.

"If it's too much heat and not enough rain then the kernels won't get as heavy," he said. "They won't fill out as much. Or the plant can just prematurely die."

The Corn Marketing Program of Michigan just completed it's first week of field tests. So far they're reporting that 10 to 15 percent of Michigan's corn crops are down compared to last year.

"That's the fun with Michigan, it's so diverse," Sandborn said. "With the weather patterns that we get. Some years we'll get water at different times."

He tells News 10 this summer has been extremely hot with spurs of rain that's made up-keeping the crops difficult.

"You can kind of see some of the problems. This is what we want to see, with a little bit of end not pollinated," said Sandborn. "This is what you're seeing out in some fields, where it didn't completely pollinate."

And if they aren't fully pollinated they have to be tossed and he's blaming the weather.

"You never know with Michigan, we've had some quite a few good years," said Sandborn. "Usually you don't get three or four in a row. So odds are something's going to happen."

The Corn Marketing Program of Michigan will do three more field testings before they can determine just how much crops were lost this year due to the heat and pollination.