Freeze

Frost-damaged corn
Figure 1. Buggy-whipping, shown hear in the two plants on the left, is when dead leaf tissue traps new leaf tissue, is one symptom of frost-damaged early season corn. (Archive photo by Roger Elmore)

Risk of Freeze Damage in Early-Planted, Emerged Corn April 28, 2017

Early-season freeze damage results in a range of potential yield impacts. Severe damage is often limited to low-lying areas within a field because cool air is heavier than warm air. Early season survival of corn plants is attributed to growing-point protection below the soil surface; however, a hard frost can penetrate the ground and kill plants. Regrowth of corn following freeze damage is often impeded by dead leaf tissue that can entrap new leaves.

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Field of wheat near McCook April 27, 2017.
A good, thick stand of wheat, such as this one near McCook provides a warmer microclimate near the soil surface that reduces the potential for freeze injury. (Photos by Robert Klein)

Assessing Freeze Injury to Wheat April 27, 2017

As temperatures dropped below 28° F at a number of sites this week, the authors address how to assess whether freeze damage has occurred.

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Nebraska map showing lows for April 26, 2017

Weather Data Shows Late April-May Cold Spells not that Uncommon in Nebraska April 26, 2017

Freezing temperatures were reported at numerous locations across western Nebraska the morning of Wednesday, April 26. Additional frost/freeze advisories were issued by the National Weather Service (Figure 1) for Thursday morning, encompassing most of west central to eastern Nebraska and north to the South Dakota border. The lowest temperature reported Wednesday morning at an NWS location was 27°F at Alliance and Sidney.

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Freeze-damaged corn
Figure 1. In 2014 Nebraska experienced widespread frost on May 15 and 17, resulting in plant damage (left) and "buggy-whipping" tissue-wrapping in early planted corn. (Photos by Jenny Rees)

Risk of Freeze Damage in Early Planted Corn April 14, 2016

With dry conditions the last week and a forecast for rain this weekend, corn planting is progressing rapidly in Nebraska. While warm conditions may persist through April, the potential for freeze risk can still be high when early-planted corn emerges.

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Spring Freeze Risk April 8, 2016

Soil conditions, the weather forecast, freeze risk and projected days needed for planting are all part of the decision as to when to get into the field. These factors can be highly variable from year to year and it can be challenging to know when we will reach, and maintain, soil temperatures conducive to proper crop germination.

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