Overnight temperatures dipped below freezing at least two nights in a row across much of the state earlier this week.
But the frost didn’t cool off the hot start to corn planting at many locations. Check out the latest weather forecast
for your area.
“We’ll finish up (corn planting) today,” Dereke Dunkirk, a farmer from Morrisonville in Christian County, said Thursday during a cell phone interview from his tractor.
“We really don’t have any concerns about the frost,” he continued. “It’s so dry there’s really no dew on the ground to create a frost (on plants).”
Latest Drought Monitor map of Illinois shows drought conditions worsening.
Matt Montgomery, a University of Illinois Extension small farms/local foods educator, said he does not expect much lasting frost damage to emerged corn even though some plants were discolored.
“Most of our corn should be fine so long as we do not see intermittent frosts over the next one and a half to two weeks,” Montgomery said.
The growing point for corn is not above ground until about the V5 to V6 stage. So pre-V6 plants should be safe from a single frost event, according to the U of I educator. Montgomery reported the most mature corn he saw last week was between V3 and V4.
A lot of corn is up in Southern Illinois but Edwards County farmer Robert Anniss last week said he did not think any corn in his area was mature enough to sustain much damage from the cool overnight conditions.
“Corn is not tall enough to be hurt yet,” he said. “The growing point is still below the ground.”
Anniss said he’s amazed by how much corn is in the ground already but waited last week to plant his own crop due to the freezing temperatures and forecast for rain.
“It could be hard getting anything up,” he said.
Elsewhere, though, a number of farmers were close to finishing corn planting and some even planted beans last week, Blake Roderick, executive director of the Pike and Scott County Farm Bureaus, reported.
Dunkirk estimated 75 percent of the corn crop was planted in his area as of this week.