Concern of a hard freeze this week in Upper Midwest

Farmers are nervous about a hard frost freezing yields.

Peterson Farms Seed agronomy manager Adam Spelhaug says spring planting delays and a relatively cool summer in parts of the Corn Belt have slowed crop maturation.

“Anything after mid-May to the end of May, that’s kind of in that half milk line area. Which a light frost really doesn’t touch up a lot of that too much. So that’s going to be the biggest thing is assessing your planting dates (to figure) when these fields will be coming to maturity.”

He refers to a chart from the University of Wisconsin as a good guideline for estimating yield loss based on development stage and a frost event.

“Some of the information out of Wisconsin shows that a light frost at that half milk line area, that’s about a 5 percent yield loss possibly. If we had a 27 or 28-degree killing frost, it would be close to that 10, 12 percent (loss).”

Spelhaug says once corn is past the half-milk line, it should be safe.

For soybeans, he tells Brownfield one or more brown pod indicates the plant is about 95 percent mature.

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