Question: I’ve had a light frost on my corn crop. How do I know whether to replant it?
Answer: There is no single answer that works in every situation. Our best advice is to encourage you to work through a logical, detailed process. This process will help you gather some financial and agronomic information to determine what is best in your situation, and it also will reduce some of the emotional stress associated with the decision.
Understandably, replant costs figure heavily in replant decisions. Bob Nielsen, Purdue University Extension agronomist has developed a publication, Estimating Yield and Dollar Returns from Corn Replanting, which provides a step-by-step procedure for determining whether replanting can be economically justified. That tool and other information are available at this site: Replant Tools.
"The cost of replanting a damaged field often makes or breaks a replanting decision," Nielsen says. "The usual costs include seed, fuel (tillage and planting), additional pesticides, and additional dryer fuel."
Nielsen advises farmers to consider the 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."
Considering Replanting? Think Long and Hard
As the 2012 season progresses, the decision to replant will become more critical. Here are some pointers for consideration if your corn faces frost in the weeks ahead.
Assessing the Corn Crop
Replanting decisions and upcoming weather conditions will dramatically affect this year’s corn crop.