Early freeze slows corn crop maturity
By Michael Johnson, Editor
Steven Heger, an Underwood farmer, can’t remember a more stressful spring planting season than this past one. Now an early frost is trying to throw another weathered wrench into the mix. Despite the climatic troubles, he says his crop is not in too bad of shape. “There’s a lot that looks dead but it’s not dead,” Heger said of the corn plants that have gone brown from the below freezing temps. “It froze different in different spots ... in Washburn it froze worse than the crop around my home.” Our excess water this year lead to a great environment for row crops like corn. Now an early freeze has put the hurt on what could have been an amazing harvest. “Though we typically think that corn can tolerate some subfreezing temperatures, we can see by looking at this year’s crop that corn can be killed when temperatures are at or even approaching 32 degrees,” said Joel Ransom, North Dakota State University Extension Service. Folks traveling most any highway in the area weeks ago could see that there was a great deal more of row crops than usual. It’s apparent that most of that great crop is crisp and brown now.