Do I Need to Worry About a Killing Frost in My Corn?

— Written By Taylor Dill and last updated by

Do I need to worry about a killing frost in my corn?

By: Taylor Dill

 I have received multiple calls about the frost potential this coming weekend and if we need to worry about it being yield damaging or a cause for replanting corn. 

I would not be worried about your corn this weekend. Most corn in Lincoln and Cleveland counties are at growth stage V3 or V4 and the growing point on corn does not get above ground until V5. Therefore, the corn can handle a lot of stress because the growing point is not above ground yet. 

Corn also has a wide range of temperature variation that it can handle. Cold temperatures are not lethal to corn until they get as low as 28 degrees. Any frost that happens above 28 degrees is considered a “simple” frost and the damage that may accompany it is to leaf tissue and not the growing point. The time to be concerned is when a lethal temperature accompanies a frost.

Since the forecast is not low enough to be a lethal temperature, the “simple” frost you may see is not a cause for concern as the crop is able to handle it with no yield loss. 

If you see some damage, wait 3 to 5 days to see the new growth on the crop, while also being aware that if the temperature stays low then the crop takes longer to recover.

Read more about frost damage in corn and soybeans!

Written By

Taylor Dill, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionTaylor DillExtension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops Call Taylor Email Taylor N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lincoln County Center
Posted on May 6, 2020
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