Corn can face many different stresses capable of reducing stands, such as cold or wet soils, insect feeding and unfavorable weather conditions. In severe cases of stand reduction, growers will need to determine if replanting will be more profitable than keeping the current crop.
Growers should conduct a stand evaluation to determine how much the current corn stand has been reduced from the targeted stand. Reduced stands of healthy plants are easier to assess than stands of weak or injured plants. DuPont Pioneer agronomists recommend growers wait a few days to perform a stand assessment following an injury event such as frost or hail.
Once the plant stand has been determined, it is important to consider the health of the surviving plants. Plants that survive but are severely injured or defoliated will have reduced photosynthetic capability and a lower yield potential. Stand uniformity is also an important consideration. An uneven stand will yield less than a relatively even stand with the same number of plants.
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If weighing a replant decision, it is important to consider the probability of an autumn freeze prior to physiological maturity of replanted corn. Late-planted corn also has increased susceptibility to summer drought, disease and insects. Even if replanting will increase yield, the yield increase must be sufficient to pay for all the costs associated with replant, such as extra herbicide or tillage costs, planting costs and increased grain drying costs.
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