Replanting Early-Planted Corn
R.L. (Bob) Nielsen ,
Agronomy Department ,
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Internet address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Some early-planted fields will warrant replanting.
- Finish planting other crops first before replanting.
- Base replanting decision on expected yield and dollar
returns, not on emotion.
While the coffeeshop talk was lively, little corn was actually planted
throughout the state during the early weeks of April. Nonetheless, the current
talk down at the Chat 'n Chew Café centers around those early plantings
that may require replanting. Lengthy germination and emergence times coupled
with crusty soil surfaces have resulted in thin or uneven stands and nervous
thoughts on the farmer's part. When do you pull the trigger on corn replanting?
As usual, it depends on a few things.
First Consideration: While a field may warrant replanting, let's
remember to keep things in perspective this year. If you still have most of
your acreage yet to plant, I doubt that it makes good economic sense to spend
the time to replant an early-planted field until you have finished planting the
rest of the crop. Keep an eye on the suspect field, line up the replant seed,
but hold up on the actual replanting for a while.
Required Information: The following information is required to make a
well-reasoned decision about replanting a field suffering from poor stand
establishment. For more details, read my Extension publication, AY-264,
Estimating Yield and Dollar Returns from Corn Replanting, a
worksheet-style decision guide that describes the information required and
provides a step-by-step procedure for determining whether replanting can be
economically justified. This publication is available at your local Purdue
Extension office or on the Web at
- Productive Plant Population: You will need to determine the
productive plant population in several areas of the field to help estimate the
potential yield of the field if left as is.
- Stand Uniformity: If the productive plant population is not
uniformly distributed within the row, additional yield loss will likely occur.
- Original Planting Date: The original planting date plus the
remaining productive plant population will be used to estimate the yield
potential of the field.
- Likely Replanting Date & Target Plant Population: These will be
used to estimate the yield potential of the replanted field.
- Likely Replanting Costs: The cost of replanting a damaged field
often makes or breaks a replanting decision. Usual costs include seed, fuel
(tillage and planting), additional pesticides, and additional dryer fuel.
- Expected 'Normal' Yields: Estimates of the yield potentials of the
damaged field and the replanted field are based on a percentage of 'normal'
yield for the field in question. Unless you are excellent at predicting yields
for the coming year, I suggest using a five-year average.
- Expected Market Price for Corn: The dollar gain or loss by
replanting obviously depends greatly on what you expect to receive for the
grain this fall. The volatility of the grain market this year makes it
especially difficult to plug in' a value for determining a replant decision.
Use your best guess.
For other information about corn, take a
look at the Corn Growers Guidebook on the World Wide Web at
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