Now Comes The Tough Part- Evaluating Corn Stands

Are stands emerging now going to be good enough to leave in every case, or will there be some replant decisions to be made?

Published on: Apr 25, 2012

There are corn replant decisions made every year somewhere in Indiana, and sometimes fields are replanted somewhere in every year in Indiana. This year will certainly be no exception. The question right now is will those who planted early, say late March into early April, into dry soils be faced with these issues, or will their stands be good enough to leave.

It's also true that every year there are two or three days that were the wrong time to plant. Usually they are in early to late May, when weather conditions after a planting window turn so sour, usually so wet, that stands aren't what you hope for. This year it's possible that those says may have come very early. Time will tell.

Now Comes The Tough Part- Evaluating Corn Stands
Now Comes The Tough Part- Evaluating Corn Stands

Some say their corn is already up and looking good. All they have to worry about are temperatures that would be low enough to burn back corn leaves. Since the growing pointy is below the ground. They're not going to be affected by a total kill situation.

However, those who planted and then the soil turned cold due to cold air temperatures within a day or two after planting may face a different scenario, says Bob Nielsen, Purdue University Extension corn specialist. He says there is such a long as injury when corn imbibes water and tries to send out shoots, while the soil is too cold. The result can be some seedlings that emerge in a weird fashion, or some that leaf out underground and don't emerge at all.

The temperature, especially soil temperature at seeding depth, that it takes to do this to germinating seedlings is not well-defined, Nielsen says. Some people say it can happen at temperatures as high as 50 degrees F. Others say it isn't an issue until soil temperatures at seed depth reach the low '40s. Either way, some growers have reported soil temperatures within the past 10 days at 40 degrees. Some had corn in the ground.

Planted so early was a gamble, no doubt inspired by two wet springs in a row that delayed planting so much that yield was lost due to late planting. Whether those who planted early made the right decision this time won't be known until fall, he notes.