Crops appear OK after freezeCrops in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota don’t appear significantly damaged by a hard freeze early Thursday, officials said. “I think we dodged a bullet,” said Mike Rudebusch, station manager for the Cenex Harvest States grain elevator in Roseau, Minn.
By: By Jonathan Knutson , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Crops in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota don’t appear significantly damaged by a hard freeze early Thursday, officials said.
“I think we dodged a bullet,” said Mike Rudebusch, station manager for the Cenex Harvest States grain elevator in Roseau, Minn.
Temperatures in his area sunk into the mid-20s, but newly planted crops hadn’t advanced to the point where they were hurt, he said.
Typically, wheat is the first of the region’s major crops to be planted, in part because it holds up relatively well to spring frost. Corn planting in the area began in earnest this week.
Temperatures in Grand Forks County fell into the mid- and high 20s, but crops in the county don’t appear to be hurt, said Lionel Olson, extension agent.
“ I think we’ll be OK,” he said.
Wheat is a hardy crop that can hold up well to temperatures as low as 25 degrees, he said.
It’s much better for the freeze to have occurred now instead of in a week or so, when crops will be more advanced and more susceptible to frost, Olson said.
A few days will be needed to determine how much damage was done to crops in North Dakota’s Walsh County, where temperatures fell to 21 degrees, said Brad Brummond, county agent.
“But my gut tells me it won’t be too bad,” he said.
Temperatures fell the most in parts of the county where wheat fields were least advanced, limiting damage, he said.
Sugar beets safe
Sugar beet fields appear to have escaped damage, according to Moorhead, Minn.-based American Crystal Sugar Co.
“All the reports I’m getting tell me we dodged a bullet,” said Dan Bernhardson, American Crystal’s director of agriculture.
Temperatures fell as low as 20 degrees in the northern Red River Valley of western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, but beets there weren’t advanced enough to be hurt, he said.
The same holds true of other crops up and down the valley, extension agents said.
Jonathan Knutson is a reporter at the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.