With 51% of the corn and 37% of the soybeans planted, the freezing temperatures over the weekend hit young, newly emerged corn and soybean plants hard. According to USDA figures, 13% of the state’s corn crop and 7% of soybeans have emerged; this means the lows on Saturday in the mid-20s in some areas were enough to do some major damage.
Dan Emmert, with Pioneer in SW Indiana, says that in Knox County and surrounding area lows only reached the low 30s. As a result, not a lot of damage was done, “You can still see many fields with strips of green, but there are places where damage is noticeable. This is especially true on sandy soil.” In SW Indiana, planting began in early April; currently, Emmert says about 70% of the crop has been planted. Temperatures in Northern Indiana dipped into the 20s. With fewer crops planted and what had been planted not emerged, permanent damage is thought to be minimal.
Emmert says, in most cases, the damage done was not permanent, “The most developed corn I saw was in the V2 stage; and that means the growing point was still underground, so the plant should recover.”
The drop in soil temperatures may be a more significant problem, with averages falling out of the 50 degree range and back into the 40s. A warming trend later this week should help plants to recover and planting to resume, “The best things for our crops right now is heat and some sun. This will help with regrowth and increase germination rates on already planted crops.”
The extent of damage will not be known for a few more days. Emmert says plan to walk your fields later this week, “Starting on Thursday and Friday, it would be a good idea to scout fields looking for signs of regrowth.” Nationally, 67% of the corn and 38% of soybeans have been planted, well ahead of the average pace.