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Corn and soybean crops damaged by frost

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ST. PAUL -- Much of the state's corn and soybean crops were damaged by the frost Thursday morning, according to University of Minnesota Extension agronomists.

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According to the National Weather Service, the low temperatures reached 27 degrees in Benson, 28 degrees in Paynesville, Morris, Madison and Granite Falls, 30 degrees in Willmar and Montevideo, and 32 degrees in Olivia and Canby.

According to U of M corn agronomist Jeff Coulter, the dry conditions that occurred during the last four to six weeks accelerated the corn crop maturity.

Most of the corn that was planted in the first three weeks of May was beyond half-milk kernel state when damaged, and therefore yield losses are expected to be low.

Corn that was planted in late May or early June was less mature and therefore may have sustained more yield loss. Severely frost-damaged corn may provide grain that is less digestible or have less energy for livestock and should be monitored for mycotoxins, Coulter's news release notes.

The damage to the soybean crop may not be immediately known, but the yield and quality of immature plants will be affected, according to U of M soybean agronomist Seth Naeve.

The frost came about two weeks earlier than average for many southern Minnesota locations and soybeans are easily damaged by frost when temperatures fall to the 28- to 32-degree range.

The median date of the first 32-degree frost in Willmar is Oct. 3, while the first 28-degree dip is Oct. 15 and the first 24-degree frost is Oct. 25, according to data from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group.

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