Early Freeze May Stop A Double Crop

An early wheat harvest means an opportunity to double crop--but could an early freeze ruin plans?

Published on: Jul 5, 2012

Though a droughty summer is shaping up across much of the Midwest, The Climate Corporation Director of Agronomic Research Jeff Hamlin says unusual weather conditions may speed winter wheat and provide potential double-crop opportunities for soybeans. But, an early fall freeze may foil plans to profit from a second crop.

To assist in the understanding of early freeze risk, The Climate Corporation created freeze date tables that list the average dates of the earliest freezes for about 1,000 locations.

The tables provide data for both 30 and 28 degree Fahrenheit temperatures to help farmers determine risk for hard freezes and partial freezes. And these freeze dates are important—Hamlin said significant soybean damage can be expected if the plants experience a hard freeze (temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit).

An early wheat harvest means more growing time for a second crop--but could an early freeze ruin plans to double crop?
An early wheat harvest means more growing time for a second crop--but could an early freeze ruin plans to double crop?

Important to keep in mind is that the data also shows significant differences for different microclimates. An example of this is where the weather stations are located. Hamlin said freezes are later on the shores of the Great Lakes when compared to inland reports because close proximity to the water keeps the immediate area warmer at night.

This data could make or break a planting decision.

"Growers can use the data in the appendix to see both the 'worst case scenario' they might expect to see at their location—the earliest freeze date their area has experienced in the last 32 years—and also the median freeze date for their location over the last 32 years," Hamlin's report said.

Hamlin said it would take an unusually warm fall for the first freeze to happen after the date listed.

The below graphs are from The Climate Corporation's Early Fall Freeze Risk Data

Early Freeze May Stop A Double Crop

Early Freeze May Stop A Double Crop

Early Freeze May Stop A Double Crop

Early Freeze May Stop A Double Crop

View the full date listing here.

For more information, visit www.climate.com