Planalytics Midwest Frost-Freeze Update

Published on: 14:18PM Sep 26, 2008
Flashback to late Spring -- even before the flooding occurred in Iowa and Illinois. Back then -- June 6th, to be exact -- our satellite generated Greenness (NDVI Biomass) maps indicated areas where crop development was late, particularly across the central Midwest.  I expressed concern then that late maturing corn and soybean crops might be vulnerable to freeze... not just to an early freeze -- that would have been catastrophic -- but to a normal freeze .

Where do things stand now?  Compared to the average of the last 19 years for which our satellite images are available, areas that are currently "Greennest" match up closely with the areas where planting was delayed or where re-planting occurred following the flood. In these areas, Green means late maturing crops and areas particularly vulnerable to frost and freeze. The good news is that there have been no reports of hard freezes yet, but our forecasts indicate that low temperatures are moving in, perhaps as early as next week in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and northern Illinois. For western corn and soybean areas, an early October freeze would be considered "normal"... but would still be classified as early for northern portions of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

To see examples of Planalytics Greenness maps, go to and click on FlashWeather-Life Sciences.