Thin, short, sparse and poor-looking corn may have you pondering a replant. With the spring quickly changing into summer, this decision could have big implications on yields and your pocketbook.
This year's intense weather conditions have made the corn planting season far from favorable. "It has been frustrating for farmers,” says Peter Thomison, corn agronomist at Ohio State University. "They have been devastated by the weather.”
Thomison says many corn fields have not been planted, while others have been planted two or three times. But, with each passing day, planting or replanting corn is more of a gamble.
Roger Elmore, extension corn specialist at Iowa State University, warns producers to be aware of how drastic the yield reductions can be for later-planted corn. "If corn was planted today, it would results in a 30% yield reduction,” he says. "If the corn is planted at the end of the month, it will have a 50% reduction.”
Elmore says these figures are the most accurate available. But, he says, it is shallow data because very little data has been collected on planting this late. "We don't really have much to go on,” he says.
Corn planted later in the season is also more susceptible to drought and diseases, Thomison adds.
Thomison says the options farmers have with their unplanted or damaged acres depends on how soon they can get back into the fields. He says by June 23 farmers will probably start looking at other crops, such as soybeans or perhaps sorghum. But, he adds all other crops have their own management issues and locating seed may be difficult.
For those who want to replant, Thomison suggests being selective in the corn variety. "In late June, farmers would derive benefit from a shorter-season variety.”
Thomison says at this point, most farmers are beyond the options of patching in or replanting corn. "I'm worried about the other end of the season,” he says. Thomison says corn planted in late June or early July is likely to be harmed by frost in the fall.
"It gets scary when we are hit with these limited options,” he says.
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