A hard freeze is expected across a significant portion of the corn belt over the next several days. The coldest temperatures are expected Friday through Sunday, when temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s F (-7 to -2°C) across North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, southwestern Minnesota, and western Iowa. This will end the growing season for both corn and soybeans in these areas.
While it is not unusual for temperatures to reach these levels during early to mid-October across the north-central U.S., a significant portion of the corn and soybean crops have not yet reached maturity due to the record slow planting season this spring. As of Sunday, only 22% of the corn crop had reached maturity in North Dakota and only 36% of the corn crop had reached maturity in South Dakota.
“Maxar estimates that roughly 14% of the U.S. corn crop and 5% of the U.S. soybean crop face the risk for some freeze damage,” said Kyle Tapley, Maxar’s Senior Agricultural Meteorologist.
In addition to the cold, heavy snowfall is expected across the Northern Plains over the next several days as two waves of low pressure move through the region. The heaviest snowfall is expected in central and eastern North Dakota, where snowfall amounts of 1-3 feet (30-90 cm) are possible. The heavy snowfall will prevent fieldwork and may also damage the soybean crop and any spring wheat that has not been harvested.
From an energy perspective, the colder weather will cause energy demand to increase across the Upper Midwest with temps dropping below freezing. A noticeable increase in turning on the heat for homes and businesses will be common with the change in the weather pattern.