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PFR Report

TO REPLANT OR NOT TO REPLANT, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Published on Friday, April 28, 2017

It’s a tale as old as time. April rolls around, the sun comes out, and farmers across the Midwest hit the field. Spirits are high, corn is planted, and then…it happens. Hail. Near-freezing temperatures. Dropping soil temperatures.

Our precious seed and seedlings are left to fend for themselves and we are helpless as we sit and wait to see if they pull through. And then we are left making one of the most emotionally charged decisions of the season, to replant or not to replant?

Deciding whether or not to replant a failed stand of corn can be one of the most difficult decisions for a farmer to make as replanting can be a gamble. Deciding when to replant however is even more crucial. Each year, farmers are left wondering at what point replanting is no longer beneficial and whether the benefits of a longer growing season and earlier pollination window with their original crop outweigh the negative effect of a less than ideal stand.

Deciding whether or not to replant a failed stand of corn can be one of the most difficult decisions for a farmer to make as replanting can be a gamble. Deciding when to replant however is even more crucial. Each year, farmers are left wondering at what point replanting is no longer beneficial and whether the benefits of a longer growing season and earlier pollination window with their original crop outweigh the negative effect of a less than ideal stand.

Over the last eight years, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team has conducted replant studies at six locations throughout the Midwest to evaluate corn stands and determine whether or not replant is a profitable decision at various planting and replanting dates. This study is based on a final, poorly spaced stand of 20,000 seeds/A. and is compared with a replant stand at a rate of 34,000 seeds/A.

Cumulative data collected across multiple locations has shown that replanting in mid-to-late May nears the breakeven point for profitability. Based on this research, the highest returns have occurred within the month of April (most economic replant window varies by location) and steadily starts to decrease after that. Replanting during the last half of May historically crosses the line from being a profitable decision to one that results in a negative return on investment. This data is demonstrated in the graphs below.

 

One thing that is important to keep in mind is that each year and each field is unique when it comes to replant. In addition to emerged population and planting date, you should also consider the following:

Uniformity of Stand Loss: In situations where you are experiencing erratic distribution and a lack of uniformity in emergence, the decision to replant is much easier to make.

Future Weather: Just because you want to replant, doesn’t always mean the weather will allow you to do so. Weather delays could decrease yield potential even more than the failed stand.

Percent of Field with Reduced Stand: If only a small portion of the field is affected, it is usually better to replant the portion that is damaged.

When deciding whether or not to replant, it’s important to fully assess stand loss and damage. Replanting does not guarantee yield and there are a number of factors that could influence your decision. These include but are not limited to:

To see the regional results of this study, click the links below.

Beck’s PFR will continue conducting this study to provide farmers will a clear timeline for a profitable replant.

 

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Jim Schwartz

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