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Freeze Won't Affect Crops, Precipitation Slowing Harvest

Although showers and snow may delay corn and soybean harvest, good news for wheat.

Several states in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest have had a hard freeze, but according to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey it came late enough that crops shouldn't suffer.

"Fortunately virtually all the soybeans were mature, dropping leaves at the time of the freezes," Rippey says. "Seventy-five to 85% of the corn was fully mature at the time of the freezes. It was mostly denting so we're not going to see any loss to the crop but we may have lost a little bit of yield potential. Overall it's not going to have an effect on the national crop."

Rippey says some very heavy showers in the Midwest will further delay harvest that is running behind normal.

"We've got another storm coming, we've already seen rain developing on the plains here early in the week and it's just going to get heavier, especially across the eastern part of the plains," Rippey says. "We're also looking at some possible four to eight inch snowfall totals in western and central Nebraska for the rest of this week."

That will definitely slow harvest, but Rippey says the rain and snow will provide a terrific boost to soil moisture and with the return of warm weather conditions will be very good for winter wheat establishment.

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