Is It Worth Replanting at this Point?

Unseasonably wet, cold spring weather has lingered longer than any Midwest farmer had hoped. These conditions create stress on seed germination and on seedlings. Plus, there were reports last week of frost damage to both corn and soybean seedlings in the areas I cover. Many farmers here in the north are assessing the damage and hoping to get replants done by June 10.

Whether farmers will replant corn or replant soybeans in earlier maturities will be determined after taking these three steps:


1. Evaluate the current stand.  

When evaluating the existing stand for population, only count plants that have a good chance of survival. Then, observe the uniformity across the field to decide whether replanting the entire field or portions of the field is justified. There are different stand count options to test for both corn and soybeans to perform an accurate count.

2. Compare yield potentials.

When judging the potential yield of the standing crop, again you should only count plants that have a good chance of survival. These tables for corn and soybeans help determine the percent of full-yield potential based on planting time.

3. Consider various management practices. 

Before replant occurs, remove any existing stand. Also keep in mind that most soil insecticides cannot be applied twice during the same growing season in the same location in the field.


The decision as to whether or not a farmer should replant really comes down to individual circumstances and “local conditions.” For example, I heard about a farmer from the Fargo area who had purchased a competitors’ soybeans without seed treatment. The wet, cold spring weather caused those seeds to literally rot in the ground. Note: Seed treatments like Latham’s trademark SoyShield and SoyShield Plus give superior control of most seed and soil-borne diseases, including damping off, as well as controls early season Phytophthora.

The germination in the particular farmer’s field mentioned above was so poor that it warrants a replant, but he’s in a precarious situation. Field conditions as of June 1 weren’t fit for planting, however, another 3 inches of rain is in the forecast this week with more precipitation likely in the 10-day forecast. If that farmer doesn’t get his crop replanted before the rain falls this week, it will most likely be another week or 10 days before he can get back in that field. Then we’re looking at a potential planting date of June 10.

If you’re considering a replant, it’s best to be in contact with your insurance agent. I’ve heard Federal Crop and others may not pay unless the field is inspected first. Plus, farmers also need to know the final planting date that will be covered by their policies.

The later the planting date, the better the chance we’ll have a killing frost before the crop matures. June 20-25 is a target date for switching soybean maturities in Iowa. However, our growing season is so much shorter in the north that June 4 is considered a late planting.

On our family farm near Enderlin in Southeast North Dakota, we usually plant soybean maturities ranging from 08 to Group 1. We’ve already switched to earlier varieties and are hoping the weather will allow us to get these planted before rain brings planting to a halt again. To inquire about soybean maturities in your zone, contact me or your local Latham® representative by calling 1.877.GO.LATHAM (1.877.465.2842).