Frost Again

Frost was widespread Tuesday morning all across western Canada. Overnight lows were recorded in the neighborhood of 0 to minus 2°C with some areas reporting minus 3°C. Temperatures in this range are usually labeled a ‘light frost’ and significant crop damage is not expected. However, many variables will affect a crop’s ability to withstand frost (duration of the frost, crop staging, crop residue, low lying areas, crop vigor, etc.) so the only way to assess the extent of frost damage is to get out and scout. Symptoms of frost will often be noticed within hours, but plant survival cannot be confirmed for several days. Plant material will be wilted and discolored (whitening, yellowing). More severe damage will cause necrosis (browning or blackening) of cotyledons and leaves. Light frosts are often not lethal to the growing point (top, centre of the stem). This is where all new growth is initiated so if it is still green then the plant can re-grow from this point.