Published at the Chat 'n Chew Cafe, 18 April 2001

Corn Replant Decision-Making

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
Email address:

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. Recent cold snaps have resulted in potentially 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

  1. 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.
  2. Stand Uniformity: If the productive plant population is not uniformly distributed within the row, additional yield loss will likely occur.
  3. Original Planting Date: The original planting date plus the remaining productive plant population will be used to estimate the yield potential of the field.
  4. Likely Replanting Date & Target Plant Population: These will be used to estimate the yield potential of the replanted field.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

KingCorn.orgFor other information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers Guidebook on the World Wide Web at

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© 2001, Purdue University
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