One of the main concerns for this year’s late-planted corn crop was its vulnerability to the fall freeze. Iowa State University Extension Corn Specialist, Roger Elmore, says parts of the crop now in the dough stage – 24% according to the last crop progress report – need about six more weeks to mature – by early or mid-October. He says based on data from the last 50 years, there’s a 20% to 50% chance the first freeze will hit before those crops are mature.
The portion of the crop currently pollinating won’t be mature until the end of October – in central Iowa, at least, Elmore says that translates into a 90% chance that those crops will get frosted before they’re mature.
That may sound bad, but Elmore points out that producers this year were able to spread risk with the variation in planting dates.