Frost was actually not as bad as what some crop took already with only isolated -7’s and a shorter duration below -4 than either of the back to back -6’s last week and we had great hardening nights leading up to it. But some may want to fire up anyhow before we can assess Max damage in 2 nights and Min damage in 4-7:
1. Calendar date still works for a full yielding crop (though we are more at the mercy of July Fry) and we now have some germination moisture.
2. We had stands that were light and even if hardened* would still be taking some damage. They may actually be fine but we would need 3-5d to assess and could lose germination moisture and more calendar.
* the hardening process involves water/sugar ratios in plants like antifreeze. I have a theory that rain before a frost in a dry year negates a part of that process, upping the pure water. Had it not rained, I believe plants would have handled this frost – with the rain I don’t feel it’s worth taking the chance on stands already light.
If you don’t want to wait then I recommend you start reseeding fields damaged the most in initial frosts and that will give us a chance to assess the new damage over the next couple days on the next worst fields. Would be great to see you split some fields by leaving some significant strips 15-30% strips. With accurate WeatherStation data that we never had before, knowing if reseeding was the way to go or not will be priceless in future years against these exact temperatures.
Even though we took a May 7th minus 6 on some Canola, no re-seeding was required as even the earliest seeded fields were not fully germinated, and a solid 30-35% of plants that were up still survived. Full points go to the ability to seed at 3/4 to 1″ depths with accurate placement. If we were seeding with old placement technologies and forced to go at 0-3/4″ we could not have started seeding so early. However, a new frost event looms so will save the pat on the backs until it plays out.