This year’s corn and soybean crops are still capable of churning out record-breaking yields – but Mother Nature still has to play nice. Marc Schober, editor of AgWeb’s Farmland Forecast blog, says there’s still one big weather hurdle left to jump.
"Outside of localized pest or disease issues, the last major risk appears to be an early frost," he says. "The 2014 corn crop in particular is behind schedule maturing, which positions the risk of frost higher than normal. On average, the first major frost occurs in early October across much of the Corn Belt."
However, a cold front expected to move through the Great Plains and Midwest later this week may knock "average" right out of the room. Multiple areas are at risk for frost either Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday night. States that could see nighttime lows in the 30s during this period includes parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Idaho and Montana.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski says the menace of an early frost is real, but this particular event may not create a widespread problem for farmers.
"On a broad-term agricultural standpoint, crops such as corn and soybeans are maturing about a week behind average, but with a such a bumper crop anticipated, no significant impact is expected by the light spotty frost unless temperatures dip significantly lower than currently forecasted," he says.
To get daily weather analysis from AgDay meteorologist Mike Hoffman, plus a weather toolbox full of news, maps, local and regional forecasts, degree day accumulation and much more, visit http://www.agweb.com/weather/default.aspx. Or, to start your own weather conversation, visit the AgWeb discussion forums.