Arkansas Corn: What Impact Will Freeze Have on This Year’s Crop?

    Photo: University of Arkansas

    On the morning of April 8 many across the state experienced a frost or freeze with temperatures ranging from just above freezing to as low as 25 degrees F in localized areas. As with any freeze event there appears to be a lot of temperature variability even within a small area. 

    At the time of the freeze a majority of the state’s corn acres were not planted or had not emerged yet, but there were many areas with a lot of corn that had just emerged or was at the V1 stage.  The question is what impact the frost/freeze will have on corn that had emerged or was just emerging.

    Fortunately the growing point of corn is below the soil surface until approximately V5-V6 and would be protected from a light freeze. Corn that had the above ground foliage froze should be putting out new growth within a few days provided good growing conditions occur.

    Some have compared this freeze event to the Easter Freeze of 2007, when a large acreage of corn was replanted. This event appears to be totally different as the temperatures were much warmer and it appears we are going to have good conditions this week.

    Yesterday afternoon signs of freeze were evident with frozen leaves having a dark and water soaked appearance, but I was encouraged to see healthy tissue visible at the soil surface and recovery at this time looks promising.   The photos below show the typical freeze symptoms on the afternoon of April 9.

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