Deciding To Replant

When farmers are done planting, they pray for perfect weather conditions and wait for the plants to emerge. Too much rain, not enough rain, cold temperatures and other challenges can ruin the dream of a perfect crop. If your stand is weak and lacks uniformity, you may have to face one of the toughest decisions a farmer can make – should I replant?

Mitch Heisler is a marketing manager with Wyffels Hybrids. He says this decision is an emotional one, so make it based on the facts presented to you.

"Go out there and take stand counts. There are multiple resources from universities that have done research to look at what your stand count is, and also where you’re at on the calendar," says Heisler. "Evaluate is that stand low enough that I’m better off starting over and replanting that to get a higher stand, even if it means that my crop will be delayed a couple weeks than what I first intended."

Your decision should also include the cause of the sparse stand and if it can be corrected. Issues such as poor seedbed conditions or improper seeding practices may hand you the same problems the second go-round.

If you’re lucky, sometimes you can get by with just a minor fix.

"Maybe try to spot some in," he says. "And there are cases where that can work, but usually you kind of have to bring it down to, ok, should we work with the stand we have, or unfortunately sometimes you just have to tear that up and start over to get a good stand established."

Ultimately, your verdict should be based on economics rather than emotion. Estimate the cost to replant, estimate the yield potential and revenue from a replanted stand, and if your choice to get back in the field - or not -  will pay for itself in the end.