Early Planting, Cold Nights

Contributed by Clare Kinlin, Regional Manager, Eastern Ontario

The ideal planting conditions during the month of April and early May has the crops in Eastern Ontario set-up to be of the highest yield potential ever. These early planting conditions have come with some risk of early season frost and cold temperatures. Over the growing season it will be my attempt to follow the crop from planting to harvest in two particular locations in Eastern Ontario. These two locations are both resourced with Weather Stations, Corn, Soybean plots and lots of photos. I hope to provide you with some insight to crop development and physiological effect that the weather is having on the crops. The frost event on May 10th had an air temperture of -4.1 but a soil temperature of 2.8 C and at Dunvegan.

To assess the impact of freezing temperatures on emerged corn, check plants a few days after freezing temperatures (Corn Tissues Freezes at -2 C). New leaf tissue should be emerging from the whorl. You can also check the growing point (usually located ½ in to ¾ in below the soil surface) by splitting seedlings lengthwise. If the growing point appears white to light yellow and firm a few days after the frost, prognosis for recovery is excellent. In picture below notice the brown tip of the seedling is frost damaged but the growing point is white and alive.

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