Aug 17, 2011  |  Today's News

It’s been a hot summer. Farmers aren’t the only ones wondering what impact the hot, dry weather has had on corn production. This circumstance crossed my mind and made me think about rain, and water, and the constant criticism that corn uses too much water. And that made me think of the old, classic, Western song, Cool Water. But I digress. Here’s some great information on corn growth and water usage.

Water Intake

1 inch of rainfall provides more than 27,000 gallons of water over an acre

A high-yielding corn crop moves 20-26 inches of water

In a corn crop yielding 200 bushels per acre:

1 gallon of water stays with the harvested bushels of grain,

2 gallons of water remain with the stalk/stover in the field, and

The balance of the water is returned to the water cycle

Water Return

Corn returns 4,000 gallons of water daily to the natural water cycle through the processes of evaporation and transpiration.

On a hot day, evapotranspiration can reach 8,000 gallons per acre.

Evaporation accounts for 20-30% and transpiration 70-80%.

Residue on the soil surface may reduce annual water needs more than 80,000 gallons per acre.

*Editor’s Note: The “I” in this daily Corn Scoops is Tricia Braid, and she takes sole responsibility for the Cool Water reference. Hopefully you enjoyed it!*