Any time a crop gets planted late there are grumblings of the potential disasters that would take place if there is an early killing frost. There has been no shortage of those concerns in 2014.
In addition, cicadas, wives tales, lunar cycles and the neighbor’s meteorologically inclined knee all seem to be pointing to the significant possibility of an early frost this year in late September, compounding the concerns for farmers. The plunging temperatures this week contribute to the conversation as well. So how real are the 2014 early frost watch concerns?
Corn and soybeans are running behind in many parts of Ohio due to late planting and challenging conditions early in the spring. By July 13, 14% of Ohio’s corn crop was silking compared to the 29% five-year average and 22% of soybeans were blooming compared to the 32% five-year average. So, clearly the late crop component of the early frost disaster scenario is plausible. But what about the weather?
In his weather update for the Ohio State University Extension CORN Newsletter, Jim Noel, with the National Weather Service, predicts temperatures that are cooler than normal moving forward for Ohio.
“Autumn outlook is still looking a little cooler and wetter than normal. The wetter conditions could impact harvest. Early indications are winter starts colder and wetter and ends warmer and drier, which would be opposite recent winters,” Noel said.
Time will tell if the early frost concerns are justified, but until autumn arrives and the answers are revealed, coffee shop conversations will surely include plenty of discussion on the topic of the perils of an early frost.