It isn’t supposed to be this cold in October. The official start of winter is still almost two months away, and yet the weather in much of the western half of the country right now resembles what we might expect in mid-January. All-time record lows for the month of October are being set in city after city, and this extremely cold air is going to push into the Midwest by the end of the week.
Temperatures in the heartland will be up to 50 degrees below normal, and unfortunately about half of all corn still has not been harvested. Due to unprecedented rainfall and extreme flooding early in the year, many farmers faced extraordinary delays in getting their crops planted, and so they were hoping that good weather at the end of the season would provide time for the crops to fully mature and be harvested. Unfortunately, a nightmare scenario has materialized instead. A couple of monster snow storms have already roared through the Midwest, and now record low temperatures threaten to absolutely wreck the rest of the harvest season.
When temperatures get significantly below zero for more than a few hours, scientists tell us that it will kill standing corn…
A significant freeze (28°F or colder for a few hours) will kill the whole plant, and any frost will act to defoliate plants, resulting in diminished grain filling for the seeds, especially on the upper half of the plants.
And right now we are facing a crisis because less than half of all U.S. corn has been harvested.