Scouting Tips for Flooded Fields

The question on many minds now is whether or not they need to replant, thanks to widespread heavy rainfall and ponding.

“Rule of thumb is the warmer it is the less likely a plant will survive,” says Brent Tharp, Wyffels Hybrids agronomy and product training manager. “Wait three to five days after the water recedes to check.”

Corn is a resilient plant and may be able to withstand flooding for a short amount of time if the plant isn’t growing rapidly. Wait a few days to check back to give the plant time to recover or provide indication it will not survive.

On warm days you would typically see new growth three to five days after water recedes. It could be a bad sign if you don’t see growth. At that point, check the plants. Dig them up and split them down the middle to find the growing point. If you see creamy to white color in the growing point, you’re in luck. But, if it’s brown and mushy, the plant is dead and could require spot replanting.

“We should be switching to shorter season hybrids in June,” Tharp says. “Set and possibly lower expectations on replant, expect lower yield and wetter corn. Also, think about how much corn you are going to tear up to replant.”

If you replant as late as June it could mean you need to switch to shorter season hybrids to avoid frost this fall. Consider how many growing degree units each hybrid needs and pick one that will provide the greatest yield potential despite any planting date limitations.

Don’t forget to do the math. Sometimes, replant doesn’t pay off. For example, if the patch you need to replant is smaller than the amount of crop that will be torn up while replanting it may be best to leave it.