Frost Threatens Corn Acres by the Thousands

April 12, 2012 01:00 PM

A few nights of freezing temperatures in Illinois left farmers across corn country with crops in the ground feeling nervous, and those who waited to plant feeling thankful.   

Todd Gleason, a media communications specialist with the University of Illinois Extension, says that when he drove from Champaign to Elkhart, Illinois yesterday he found fields in Champaign county suffering from the cold. "The five leaf stage didn’t fair terribly well," he says. He says the two leaf corn he found in Logan County was nipped but believes it should come out ok.
Frosted Corn
Champaign County, Ill. Field
Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie agrees that central Illinois corn is likely taking a hit from the cold snap. "In central Illinois, there are probably thousands of acres that have been negatively impacted by the past two nights of cold weather," he says. Ferrie says that the back-to-back cold nights are in part to blame for the corn’s inability to fair freezing temperatures.

Frosted Corn 3

Logan County, Ill. Field

Many farmers believe that unemerged corn will not be affected by the brisk mornings, but Ferries cautions farmers to watch carefully because the cold stress will affect the corn plant at some point, it is just not known to what extent the damage will be. "There is corn in the ground that has not come up yet, and that crop will suffer a ding, but I’m not sure how much yet," he says. According to Ferrie, as of Tuesday, many farmers throughout central Illinois where 75% or more done with planting.
Fans of our Facebook page reported that temperatures almost reached freezing in North Carolina overnight and that this cold snap is not only affecting corn farmers, but freezing temperatures are impacting fruit production from Ohio to California.

Temperature Low’s for Tonight according to

Des Moines, IA  -  49°
Champaign, IL  - 41°
Bloomington, IL - 41°
Columbus, OH - 39°
See your farm’s weather forecast from Pinpoint Weather.

Related Audio Report :

A Lot of Factors to Consider When Talking About Cool Temps and Crop Damage 




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Spell Check

4/12/2012 11:36 AM

  To all fruit growers, my sympathies as they face another year of capricious weather - I often think that among all farmers these folks have the strength and patience of Job. And corn farmers, come on guys, you know better. As Colbert would say, here is a wag of the finger. I understand the temptation to plant early, but I have to go with the Nebraska farmers who have all been observing that recent weather patterns year to year should be teaching us to be more pessimistic in our estimates of the weather rather than optimistic.


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