Just getting started on planting, the last thing growers want to think about now is replanting, but it’s something they may have to consider if they’re not patient now.
“Patience is crucial,” said Erika Parker, DEKALB Asgrow Technical Agronomist. “We must have patience to do what is possible to avoid replanting.”
While growers can’t control the weather, Parker said growers should focus on doing everything within their control, correctly, the first time. That includes waiting to plant until soil conditions are fit.
“Generally, soil temperatures are cooler now than they were last year at this time,” Parker said. “It’s still early, so waiting until ground moisture conditions are fit is critical.”
Parker said while soil temperatures vary hour to hour and day by day, the ideal soil temperatures are above 50 degrees with a warming trend after planting.
“Planting before the ground is ready can lead to a cloddy seed bed, which can cause uneven emergence and hurt yield potential,” Parker said. “It can also lead to sidewall compaction and general compaction, which can affect the crop the remainder of the growing season.”
To help growers determine the best planting conditions, DEKALB and Asgrow offer two resource tools. The Corn Planting Agronomy Library is a new online tool providing best management practices and agronomic information relating to corn planting dates, seed placement, soil fertility, and planter set-up. The My Seed digital tool helps farmers optimize their seed selection, as well as corn planting rates.
Once the first round of planting is complete, Parker said growers still need to be patient before heading into the field to replant.
“There are several reasons for replanting, but almost regardless of the cause, patience is needed to evaluate the amount of stand that will or will not recover,” Parker said. “The more challenging soils and drainage areas, the more replanting is generally needed.”
When frost or hail damage occurs, time is needed to evaluate if the plant growing points are damaged. Brown discoloration in a seedling’s growing point is an indication of future plant death. When plants are at that point, Parker said it is time to take stand counts in several places of the field.
Growers also need to consider these scenarios when making a replanting decision:
- If the decision is made to replant, then patience is needed for the ground to be fit again.
- If there is a poor stand, and replanting is being considered, it is generally best to remove the thin stand and start over to minimize plant-to-plant competition to maximize yield.
- If the calendar date is later, and yield potential is severely limited, then it might make sense to add to a very low stand for weed control purposes rather than yield potential. Calendar date, populations, field conditions and percent of field at lower populations are key drivers in deciding to start fresh or add to existing stand.
Still haven’t rolled out into the fields yet for round one and are a long way away from replanting? Parker said that is just fine.
“My primary advice is to wait until the ground is fit. The calendar can be a hard driver, but it is more important to make sure we are getting the seed planted into a good seed bed,” Parker said. “Consider planting delays as an opportunity to make sure everything is ready to roll when the time comes.”