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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

Several considerations to use before replanting corn

Posted Monday, May 2, 2011, at 1:47 PM

Corn planting is running a little behind average. As of April 25, 28 percent was planted statewide which was 9 days behind last year and 5 days behind normal.

With all of the rainfall and cold weather we have received some producers are wondering if what they have planted is going to survive.

These concerns do have some validity but before deciding to destroy what is there and start over, give some consideration to actual conditions and what you are dealing with.

So far, I have not received any reports of seed rotting in the ground. The seed that has been examined has germinated and is growing but slowly. To get a crop to germinate requires metabolic energy; initially this energy comes from the endosperm in the kernel. Once emergence begins, the corn plant will slowly shift from relying on the starch and sugars in the endosperm to creating energy through the photosynthetic process. The amount of energy stored in that kernel is usually sufficient for three to maybe four weeks after the seed first absorbs water. Soil temperatures are around the optimal minimum of 50 degrees F for normal corn development. As temperatures warm up, corn seedlings should start to grow more rapidly. Until then, cooler than normal soil temperatures will retard the norm al development, but at this point, it is probably not yet detrimental to stand establishment. Serious germination and/or establishment problems would be expected only after an extended period of temperatures below 50 degrees F, usually three or four more weeks. Of course, this can be compounded if there is too much soil moisture and anaerobic (without ozygen) conditions develop.

Before rushing out to start over with this year's corn crop, you should evaluate your situation:

1.Leave the fields that you have already planted until all other fields with high yield potential are planted. This will give you the opportunity to clearly assess the corn stand and yield potential.
2.Assess the actual corn population. Use this corn stand as a starting point for whether to replant.
3.Assess the uniformity of germination in the field. Corn fields with nonuniform plant emergence will have lower yield potential than fields with uniform emergence.
4.Using the data you have collected on plant population and uniformity of stand along with how quickly the field can be replanted to determine if the cost of replanting plus any potential yield increase justifies replanting.

Data from the University of Missouri at Columbia indicates that there is little difference in yield potential from planting dates in April. From May 1 to June 1 corn yields decreased about 25%.

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As our local University of Missouri Agronomy Extension Specialist, Crook has been writing a column for the print edition Agriculture page for the past three years and we will now be sharing it on our web version. Crook has a bachelor and masters degree in agronomy from University of Missouri and received his doctorate in Agronomy from Kansas State University. He was in soybean variety development research for 22 years for various seed companies and has been Saline County's agronomy specialist for 10 years.
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