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Corn+Soybean Digest

Facts, Not Feelings Should Determine Corn Replanting

Replant decisions should be based on facts, not emotion. A Purdue University worksheet helps corn growers affected by a wet spring make the right choices.

"Estimating Yield and Dollar Returns from Corn Replanting," Purdue Extension publication AY-264-W, can be downloaded online at The publication is written by Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist..

"Deciding to replant a stand of corn should be based on a number of criteria but, unfortunately, the major influencing factor is often the emotion associated with looking out the kitchen window at the damaged field every morning," Nielsen says.

Nielsen's worksheet helps corn producers calculate replant costs and potential yields.

The calculations are based on a farmer's cropping history, including original seeding rate and planting dates, yield estimates under "normal" conditions, the projected market price at the time of harvest and the expected replanting date and costs.

The worksheet then takes the information provided and helps the grower, "determine the damaged field's current yield potential if left untouched, its replant yield potential, and the dollar returns, if any, from replanting the field," Nielsen says.

Growers stand to benefit from the information the worksheet provides, Nielsen says.

"Taking time to work through the steps of the replanting worksheet will help clarify the economic returns, or losses, to replanting and reduce the influence of emotions in this important crop management decision," he says.

When deciding whether to replant corn, many factors should be taken into account, Nielsen says.

While replant decisions are easy for fields wiped out by flooding, they aren't so simple for less-saturated fields.

"The more challenging fields are those that are farther away from the rivers, where you've got pockets in the field where water stands or pockets where it remains saturated for days on end," he says. "Those conditions can be very detrimental to the survival of corn kernels and germinating seedlings and young seedlings. It becomes a matter of assessing the survivability of a field and trying to determine the success of stand establishment and final plant population.

"At some point you need to at least think about replanting. Then that takes you into the economic realm of trying to determine whether it is economic to replant a field that's less than desirable."

It also is important to remember that even if the projected economic returns are suitable for replanting, there is no guarantee of success, Nielsen says.

Another Nielsen publication covers hybrid maturity issues. "Late Planting/Replanting and Relative Hybrid Maturity" is available online at

For more information about corn production, visit Nielsen's Chat 'n Chew Café Web site, located at
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