Late planting due to an especially cold and wet spring this year was compounded by an early frost in mid-September, which caused a hard freeze in some sections of South?Dakota, and a partial freeze across most of Minnesota.


Late planting due to an especially cold and wet spring this year was compounded by an early frost in mid-September, which caused a hard freeze in some sections of South?Dakota, and a partial freeze across most of Minnesota.

Corn, which was about a week to 10 days from full maturity, saw a five to 10 percent yield loss in Minnesota. Most corn in the state had reached a milkline of one-half to three-fourths.

“There was a fairly minimal impact on corn,” said John Skogland, of Pioneer Hi-Bred.

Soybeans, despite being considered fairly tolerant of freezing temperatures compared to other plants such as corn, can be damaged when temperatures drop below 32 degrees, and temperatures below 30 degrees can damage stems, pods and seeds, indicated a report released by Steve Butzen, an agronomy information manager for Pioneer. The severity of damage depends on the growth stage of the soybeans, which was the primary contributing factor to the greater loss of soybeans over corn.

Butzen’s report shows that due to the frost, soybeans planted earlier will see a yield loss of five to 15 percent, and those planted a bit later will have a yield loss of 20 to 35 percent; many had only reached mid group two or later, and were shy of full maturity because of being planted late due to the wet planting season.

With the loss of entire plants, Skogland indicated that many farmers saw a loss of about $50 an acre on corn and $100 an acre on beans.

“The other portion of this problem is there are areas in the fields where it did not kill the plants,”?Skogland explained. With some portions of fields hurt by the frost and others not, it forced farmers to decide if they wanted to try and just harvest the portions that had been killed and come back out into the field a second time for the rest, and if that was even feasible. In addition, there were portions of fields where not all of the plants were dead.