Local Ag Expert Says Area Farmers May See Some Benefits From Our Current Cold Snap In The Coming Growing Season

Thu 2-11-2021

(Lakefield, Mn.)-- Area farmers may see some benefits from the extreme cold in the coming growing season. Jim Nesseth of Extended Ag Services in Lakefield tells KUOO news it will likely kill off more pests, especially certain varieties of corn rootworm...Cold & Pests01 

"The western corn rootworm especially. That seems to be a lot more sensitive to colder temperatures and so I think we can maybe have some drop in that and where that really comes into play is any of our producers that do corn on corn consistently, that's where we really should see some really increasing populations, you know, of western corn rootworm, so this could be very helpful from that standpoint. The other corn rootworms, they're just a little tougher, a little hardier. You know, that's going to take some really cold temperatures to make an affect on them. But again, we should, you know, maybe have, you know, some decrease in that population and survivability of those eggs."

Nesseth says the impact on other pests is more questionable...Cold & Pests02 

"Soybean cyst nematode, you know, we could maybe have some mortality there. They seem to survive some of these cold temps pretty good, but we might have some control there. The other traditional wire rooms and you know, white grubs, those are probably pretty hardy and, you know, we'll just have to see what that affect is. So it's hard to really put a significant, say yeah, we're going to reduce it by x amount, but you know, that population, you know, it's just one of those things we'll just have to see next summer, you know, what type of pressure we see."

Nesseth says a lack of snow cover and dry soil is allowing the extreme cold to penetrate deeper into the ground. Experts say that, in turn, could also cause additional problems with water pipes and other underground infrastructure as the frigid weather continues.