Replanting: Economic Considerations

Nate Bruce, Farm Business Management Specialist, nsbruce@udel.edu

Planting season is upon us here in Delmarva. With planting, comes potential issues. From weather related events such as hail and wind damage to saturated or flooded fields, or disease and pest issues, some producers may face a situation where replanting is considered. There are some considerations every producer should think about before deciding to replant.

Contact Your Crop Insurance Agent

Before making any decision about replanting, contact your crop insurance agent about your insurance coverage and options and to ensure policy compliance. If you do replant, discuss whether you want or need to insure the second crop. If switching crops (i.e. from soybeans to corn) or replanting a hailed out field of soybeans, crop insurance regulations may be an important consideration. For example, after a hail storm, crop insurance companies may require a waiting period prior to evaluating a soybean crop for potential replanting. Last but certainly not least, also check the requirements of your operating loan and any farm program you’re participating in.

Assess Crop Damage

After 3 to 5 days of favorable growing conditions returning, check and see the extant of the damage that occurred in the original planting. Research suggests that good yield potential (90%) for corn and soybeans still exists when stands are effectively reduced by 20%. Early May planted stands that are reduced from 35,000 plants per acre to 20,000 can still achieve approximately 80% of its final yield potential. Soybeans have an even greater chance at retaining yields after stand damage. A uniform final stand of 80-100,000 plants per acre is enough to obtain expected yields. When assessing damage, evaluate if stands are still healthy and uniform before projecting potential possible yields.

Consider Profitability

Perhaps the most important consideration prior to replanting is determining the profitability of the newly replanted crop. Replanting should be done if the profit potential will be greater with the new planting. Extra costs will be incurred for producing the crop if replanted such as seed, chemical, labor, and machinery expenses. You may also have weed management and herbicide issues in the replanted crop, delayed harvest, and impacts on yields from later plantings. The yield potential of the replanted crop must be high enough to cover the extra costs compared to keeping the crop plus at least 10% more profit potential. It is essential to determine the correct crop variety maturity for late planting dates to minimize risks.

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