Corn crop impacts midwest humidity

Published: Aug. 11, 2016 at 6:22 AM CDT
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About a tenth of a gallon of water is made by a corn plant every day during the growing season. According to U-S-D-A meteorologist Brad Rippey, that can have a measurable impact on the weather, though he says it's not a dominant force.

Roughly 14 to 15 ounces evaporate from a corn plant, which changes humidity levels. Rippey says then you factor in the 94.1 million acres of corn planted this year and add 30,000 corn plants per acre.

Rippey says, "So then you put it all together, that would be enough water coming off of that corn to fill California's reservoirs more than four times so that is a good chunk of water coming off the U.S. corn crop in 2016."

With corn concentrated in one central area throughout the U.S. Corn Belt, Rippey says the crop can add a couple of percentage points to the overall content of water vapor in the atmosphere. If you get the right winds that can head to urban areas.

But humidity from all plants is about a tenth of the humidity that comes from oceans.