Growing Degree Day Calculation Method Comparison between Two Methods in the Northern Edge of the US Corn Belt

by:  F. Adnan Akyüz, Joel K. Ransom 

Volume 2015, No. 2, 18 Dec 2015

The use of environmental temperature and its effects on plant development have been useful in determining growth stages of plants. This paper compares two Corn Growing Degree Day (GDD) calculation methods that are widely used in the US and why one is more suitable in the northern edge of the US corn-belt areas than the other. The comparison between the two accumulated GDD calculations for corn during the last 67-year period from 1948 to 2014 growing seasons for Fargo, ND, indicates that one method systematically underestimates accumulated GDDs during the days when maximum temperatures are above and minimum temperatures are below the base temperature of 50°F. Furthermore, the ratio of the difference between the two seasonal accumulations to the required accumulated GDD necessary to mature the type of corn grown in this area becomes more significant than those grown in other parts of the US where corn requires higher seasonal GDD accumulations. 

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