Sponsored By
indiana Prairie Farmer Logo

How Low Could Corn Populations Go Without Replanting?How Low Could Corn Populations Go Without Replanting?

Just how low do populations need to go until it pays to replant?

Tom Bechman 1

May 21, 2013

2 Min Read

The Purdue University Corn & Soybean Field Guide published annually by the Purdue Diagnostic training Center contains a chart that shows it doesn't pay to replant on May 25 if you originally planted April 30 and have 20,000 healthy plants per acre left in the field. What you make up with a better stand you would more than lose due to later planting, based on long-term averages. And that doesn't even consider the cost of replanting.


However, if you experienced a serious issue with weather, like a storm after planting or if soils were just too wet and you didn't get good emergence, you may not have 20,000 healthy plants per acre. How long can corn populations go and it still doesn't pay to replant the stand?

Actually, the answer is 16,000 plants per acre in the April 30 stand. At that point you could expect 168 bushels per acre leaving the stand, and 174 bushels per acre if you replanted May 25. However, that assumes that 6 bushels per acre – or $30 per acre at $5 per bushel corn – would more than cover cost of replanting. That could depend upon the replant policy of your seed company. If you have to pay for the seed, even at half the cost, it may be a losing proposition to replant.

The scariest part is, what if you replant May 25 and don't get a perfect stand this time either? Suppose you only get 26,000 instead of 30,000 plants per acre. Then long-term yield potential would be 170 bushels per acre. Unless you're getting the seed free and won the diesel fuel in the CountryMark essay contest, that likely won't pay for itself.

The bottom line is that the stand needs to be very thin and the odds of getting a good stand by replanting corn this late in the game aren't great.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like