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JenREES 5/30/22

Thankful today for all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, that our flag is still flying and for the freedoms we still have. May we never forget freedom isn’t free.

Frost Damage: Looked at a lot of fields this past week for frost damage, particularly bean fields. A key for evaluation is making sure the hypocotyl (the portion below the stem) is still firm and not pinched in any way or soft. Then exam the cotyledon area as there is an axillary bud next to each cotyledon which can shoot new branches. The rest of the upper-most plant may die, but as long as the cotyledon area is healthy, the plant should live. I have pictures to show this at jenreesources.com and we go into more detail in a CropWatch article at: https://go.unl.edu/e3si.

There’s a lot of situations with one or two rows damaged, but the damage alternates between the two. There’s many situations where there’s several rows of beans missing in patchy areas of drilled or planted fields (however, it’s not the entire row in any field I’ve looked at). Some of the patchy areas of fields are between 30-65K while other portions of fields are 100K or over. Beans are incredible at compensating and they will branch to compensate for no plants in an adjacent row. I just keep wondering about damaging the yield potential already there from these early planted beans to slot more in. I realize I would leave things at a lot less population than many are comfortable with and our recommendation is to leave fields with at least 50K. One needs to consider history of weed control in these fields as well. Each decision to leave a stand or replant is an individual and field-by-field one. I still am encouraging anyone who wishes to slot some in to consider planting a strip, leaving a strip, and alternating that at least 3 times. (Or if you’re drilling beans, you may need to make a round instead of a pass). The goal is to get two combine-widths from each planted/drilled area. This at least would be a way to see for yourself if slotting the beans in made any difference for you and please let me know if you are interested in doing this! If you do slot beans in, we’d recommend going with as similar of maturity as what the original maturity was until June 15. Ultimately, I just wish you the best in the decisions you’re making.

York County Progressive Ag Safety Day will be Tuesday, June 14th, 2022 8:30 am – 1:00 pm York County Fair Grounds York, Nebraska. This is a fun-filled day of learning for school-aged children. Topics for demonstrations and discussions include: Electrical Safety, Pipeline-Gas Safety, Grain Safety, ATV/UTV Safety, Look-a-Likes, Power Tool Safety, Equipment Safety, and Internet Safety. The registration fee is $5.00. This safety day includes lunch, snacks, a T-shirt, and a take-home “goody” bag. Registration is due by June 7th to ensure a t-shirt and take-home bag. Please register with the York County Extension office at (402) 362-5508. Sponsors include York County Farm Bureau, York Co. Extension, Wilbur-Ellis, and Black Hills Energy.

Weed Management Field Day will be held June 29 at South Central Ag Lab near Clay Center. Growers, crop consultants and educators are encouraged to attend. The field day will include on-site demonstrations of new technology and new herbicides for corn, soybean, and sorghum. An early morning tour will focus on weed management in soybean and sorghum followed by a tour of weed management in field corn. Field experiments will provide information for weed control options with various herbicide programs.

Three Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units are available in the integrated pest management category. There is no cost to attend the field day, but participants are asked to preregister at http://agronomy.unl.edu/fieldday. A brochure with more info. is located at the website. The South Central Agricultural Laboratory is five miles west of the intersection of Highways 14 and 6, or 13 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6. GPS coordinates for the field day site are 40.57539, -98.13776.


Heavy residue area with frost-damaged soybean plants. Several rows impacted like this make replant decisions more difficult as often what is seen is the entire length of the field isn’t impacted, just areas of several rows with heavier residue. At first glance, these plants may all seem dead, but it’s been interesting to see what may be surviving when the residue is pulled back. (Photo by Jenny Rees)

Pulling back the residue reveals some plants survived. The population in these areas will be greatly reduced but replanting small areas such as this will also be a pain. History of weed pressure will be an important factor in any replant decisions for patches scattered like this throughout the field. (Photo by Jenny Rees)

Situations with portions of one row impacted by frost. Sometimes up to 20 feet of frost damaged plants has been observed in one row. If there’s plants in the rows on either side, they will compensate for the reduced stand in the middle row. (Photo by Jenny Rees)

Assessing soybean recovery. (a.) Unifoliolates and Trifoliolates may be wilted back and dying. Look for firm, green cotyledons and firm hypocotyl (portion of stem below cotyledon). Those are indicators that the plant should survive. Notice new growth from axillary buds occurring Day 4 after the frost occurred (left plant). Notice the right plant has damage to the hypocotyl making it soft, which will not allow it to survive. On plants where the cotyledons are yellow but the hypocotyl firm, additional evaluation may be needed to see if the axillary buds survive. (b.) Close up of the left-most plant in photo (a) showing the healthy hypocotyl and cotyledons. (c.) Stripping away the frost-damaged leaves and the cotyledons reveals axillary buds starting growth in the cotyledon area. Additional evaluation would be needed on plants such as this to see if any regrowth occurs above this. (Photos by Jenny Rees)

JenREES 5-10-20

The anticipated cool temps and potential for frost damage were on the minds of several towards the end of last week. The warm spring planting conditions allowed for more soybean emerged in Nebraska and the mid-west than I’ve ever seen before at this time-frame. From UNL small plot and on-farm research, it’s warm springs such as this that have provided the larger yield increases when soybean was planted early. As I’m writing this, low temperatures varied throughout the State Saturday night with more anticipated lows tonight. What should one look for in regards to frost/freeze recovery? First, we’d say to wait 3-5 days post frost to look for signs of regrowth. It may take up to 7 days depending on weather conditions following a frost event. I’ve provided photos in my blog at jenreesources.com to aid in what to watch for and will continue to add photos. Have learned a lot by flagging plants at different growth stages and taking pictures of their recovery. Would encourage you to do the same. One thing we’re always provided is the opportunity to learn!

Survival partly depends on how low temperatures got. Air temperatures of 28°F or less for at least two hours may result in damaged tissue and even death if the growing point is affected in corn and soybean. Air temperatures around 32°F typically don’t result in freeze of plant tissues. Why is this? Plant cells have solutes in the cytoplasm and just outside the cell membrane that act like a modest anti-freeze. Thus, the actual tissue temperature has to reach 28-30°F for frost damage to occur.

It also depends on stage of growth. For emerged corn, the growing point is still in the ground. Frost damage can appear as leaves discoloring and wilting due to plant cells rupturing. Eventually they will turn brown and slough off if new growth pushes through. It will be important to look at the growing point and make sure it’s white/yellow and firm and not discolored and soft. Warmer temps after frost event will help in reducing disease impacts from bacterial pathogens.

Soybeans that are just emerging with the hypocotyl hook exposed at or just above ground level, can be the most at risk for damage. The hypotcotyl hook is the area of the stem below the soybean cotyledon. Anything that impacts it will result in seedling death. Watch for plants that have soft, mushy, or pinched hypocotyls. These are situations where soybean seedlings tend to die. I’ve seen survival in seedlings with light scarring on the hypocotyl and cotyledons where there’s no pinching of the hypocotyl. Cotyledons just at the soil surface or above often will survive due to their high water content. They may have some light scarring yet they tend to survive. Look for the plumule (first true leaves from the shoot) within 7 days post-frost to ensure the growing point wasn’t injured. If unifoliolates were exposed, I’ve seen mixed results (depending on air temperatures and location in the field). Sometimes the unifoliolates will wilt and die but if the axiliary buds by cotyledons survive, new growth will occur.

For wheat, look for any splitting of the stems near the base of plants. Make sure the growing point looks healthy. Damage to wheat in jointing stage occur at 24°F for 2 hours and 28°F for 2 hours at boot. Impacts to wheat later on can also be seen at heading in white awns and spikelets and heads sometimes having difficulty to emerge from the boot (or being twisted). This CropWatch article shares more.

Low areas of fields, fields with coarser soil texture, and lower soil moisture contents can result in more frost damage. Fields receiving rains and wind prior to these cold temperatures may have aided in some protection. There’s often things I can’t explain when assessing frost damage. Sometimes a couple plants in a row will succumb while others around them at the same growth stage are fine. There’s just microclimate things that can’t always be explained. Here’s hoping most fields in the area are ok!

It’s also time to scout for alfalfa weevils and you can see more information and table of thresholds depending on growth stage in this CropWatch article: https://go.unl.edu/a7jw.

Rhubarb and Frost: If rhubarb leaves are not damaged too much and the stalks remain firm, it is still safe to eat. If the leaves are severely damaged or the stalks become soft or mushy, do not eat these stalks. Remove and discard them. New stalks can be harvested and eaten.


Frost on soybean

These are pics I took in 2019. The soybeans in the left photo had cotyledons just at the soil surface at time of frost. They survived. The upper right-hand photo shows a seedling with light scarring on the hypocotyl and cotyledons. However, the hypocotyl wasn’t pinched and you can see the plumule between the cotyledons is alive and healthy. The lower right-hand photo shows the hypocotyl was damaged on these seedlings causing pinching. Thus these seedlings didn’t survive.

Inked Growing Point2

This is what a healthy growing point looks like on a healthy plant not impacted by frost.

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Corn impacted by frost on 3/9/20. Leaves watersoaked and wilted two days later. Splitting open stem reveals a healthy growing point (not brown or mushy) and green, healthy tissue below the wilted tissue. Thus, plants like these will likely recover, but it’s best to continue watching them for regrowth.

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Plants impacted by frost (first and last) while middle two at same growth stage are not impacted. I see this often and have no explanation!

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The beans next to this corn field look really good with light scarring of the cotyledons and healthy plumules.

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