Wow… What a Spring

I don’t think that any of us, a month ago, expected to see the high percentage of replant acres that are being considered today.

In mid April, planting conditions for Central and Southern Indiana could not have been better. Soils were working up nice, planter slots were closing perfectly, the temperature was slowly rising. Everything was looking very positive for a great 2017 cropping season.

Due to the great conditions, a lot of corn acres got planted in a very short amount of time. A few growers slowed prior to the first threat of a big rain. When the first forecasted big rain did not happen, the planters were soon rolling again; this time, not slowing for any forecasted rain. Approximately 75% of Central and Southern Indiana’s corn ground was planted and 35% of soybean ground was planted. The forecasted rain then began… and did not stop. Much of Southern and Central Indiana experienced 8-13 inches of rain in less than a two week period. Fields had ponding and soils were very saturated. With the rains came record cold temperatures, including frost (in some locations).

Seedling emergence and vigor quickly became a concern. Early planted corn emerged; some fields taking up to seven days (from start of emergence to the last plant emerging). Uneven emergence is not ideal; causing a reduction in yield potential. The “later” planted corn (prior to the rains) took an incredibly long time to emerge; some experiencing cold inhibition, some seed rotting, and some plants not able to emerge (post rain) due to soils surface drying, creating a hard crusting. For emerged plants, a concern is seedling blight; seedling blight will show after emergence, causing more reduction in plant stand counts.

For soybeans that were planted, many fields have struggled to emerge. However, soybeans are much more resilient than corn. Soybeans seem to be able to handle a lot more cold and water stress. When looking at fields it is evident that some stand has been lost. The question is, is it enough stand loss to but consider replanting (except for ponded areas of fields). The cold wet conditions did cause the introduction of several seedling diseases, such as Pythium.

Now farmers are back in the field…

Priorities and considerations are:
• Finishing the first round of planting
• Deciding which fields need to be replanted and which have “enough” plants to have good yield potential
• Determining if additional nitrogen needs to be applied, throughout the season, due to nitrogen loss from leaching
• Deciding if fields that have not been planted, need to be tilled again
• Determining if additional herbicides need to be applied; if residual herbicides were applied prior to the rains (many have been washed away, we may be starting over in fields, and if sprayed when it was cold, the weeds may not have actively taken the herbicide in resulting in yield robbing weeds not being killed)

With each of these decisions comes the consideration of cost: labor, fuel, equipment, seed, chemistry, nitrogen, etc.

Here is a nice article that further emphasizes what farmers are facing regarding replant:
Corn Replant Considerations 2017 by Bob Nielsen

Melanie Burk
Innovation Specialist with BASF

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