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Fine Line Between Recovery After Hail or Not

Fine Line Between Recovery After Hail or Not

Storms continue through the Corn Belt.

For most people it's water that is causing problems right now: water in holes, flooding out replants in some places. One year ago it was the lack of rain. What a difference a year makes.

The storms that have brought the rain have also brought hail in some cases. What to do after a severe hail storm can be a gut-wrenching situation.

Recovery of the field pictured is uncertain. If you have late corn and the growing point was not above the ground, you're in better shape. The plant can regrow. However the growing point comes above ground at V5 to V6, so if the corn had at least six leaves with exposed leaf collars, it was above the ground. Once it's damaged or destroyed corn won't regrow.

Hit hard: It would take a few days to see if this field could recover at all. This is relatively severe hail damage which hit at a crucial reproductive stage for corn.

Most experts suggest waiting a few days before making an assessment. The problem now is that it is so late in the season that if you wait, you're forfeiting any chance to replant, assuming soils would be dry enough to allow it anyway.

What you will want to do is call your seedsman and hail insurance agent if you have hail insurance. It's likely some fields got hit harder than others, and perhaps some areas within a field got hit harder than other areas in the field. The goal is to cover the field, and determine realistic stand counts from plants that you think can recover and still produce a crop.

If the damage is so severe you don't think much will recover and you have federal crop insurance, be sure to contact your agent before you do anything to the field. As many found out last year who wanted to harvest drought-stricken corn as forage, there are strict guidelines on how much corn must be left for a check in each field. If you don't leave a check you will find working with crop insurance agents and adjustors much more difficult.

Here's hoping you don't have to deal with these issues this summer.

TAGS: USDA
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