Maybe you have already been hit with cold winter temperatures this year, but in Kansas City, we touched 90 this past week and have been in the mid-80’s the past several days. We all know winter is right around the corner, so I wanted to provide a handy link to a great source of information on crop and field stress.
The Vegetation Impact Program (VIP) is a monitoring, assessment, and networking program hosted by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. Major impacts on vegetation are often driven by weather and climate conditions. For example, damaging frost events, drought, and even flooding can impact vegetation in areas of agriculture, horticulture, nurseries, or home gardening. Pests and diseases are also driven by environmental conditions. The website integrates online climate monitoring information, weather and climate outlooks, and stakeholder input to provide a suite of resources that can help better understand negative vegetation impacts, climate variability effects, and tools to develop plans to better prepare for extreme and ever-changing environmental conditions.
As you can tell from the maps I included below, significant areas in the Corn Belt have yet to receive their first hard freeze, including areas in Illinois, Indiana, western Iowa, eastern Nebraska and most of Kansas and Missouri. To be clear, the first map shows historically when most areas will experience their first “Hard Freeze” of the year, which the National Weather Service defines as temperatures of 28 degrees F or less. A normal Freeze is when temperatures are between 32 and 28 degrees F and a Frost means temperatures fall in a range of 33 degrees F to 36 degrees F. The second map below shows the areas that have already seen their first Hard Freeze (28 degrees F). The next maps show areas that still have vegetation that could be impacted. The next map is the number of hours at or below 32 degrees in the past 30-days. And the final map is simply corn crop stress areas across the U.S. You can play around with all kinds of maps and data at their site HERE (Source: MRCC)