We received much needed rain throughout most of the state last weekend, but it’s still not enough for some areas. The University of Nebraska – Lincoln reports that we’ve done twice as much irrigating (gallons of water) as we did at this point last year. Areas south of I-80 are the hardest hit with a few extension agents reporting that they will have yield losses of 50%.
Wheat harvest is already underway, which is about two weeks ahead of our historical average for harvest date. Yields are sporadic but still have good protein values and descent test weights. One thing to note about the early wheat harvest is the opportunity to return to a soybean rotation. It’s still early enough for producers to consider a mid- to early group two bean and still profit.
I’ve heard a few isolated incidences of producers replanting corn and just wanted to share a few thoughts. A healthy stand of 10,000 plants per acre planted from April 20 through May 5 carries nearly 20-bushel yield advantage when compared to a June 5 through June 15 corn planting date with 35,000 plants per acre. With a thin stand such as 10,000, some additional emphasis should be placed on weed control. When replanting, it is usually not recommended to plant along the side of old rows unless the stand is really thin and even. Seldom is the replant situation uniform enough to be successful without over populating some areas or under populating in others.
How do you destroy the old corn stand in a replant situation? This sometimes creates a significant problem today when compared to the past. There are several “double herbicide” stacked hybrids. Double-stacked hybrids usually are tolerant to both glyphosate (Roundup) and Liberty. If your hybrid tolerates only one of the herbicides, then you can use the other to destroy the original stand. If not, you will likely need tillage to destroy enough of the old stand. Do not depend upon the planter mechanism to destroy the old stand even if you have coulters. Be sure to set the tillage implement of choice aggressive enough to destroy the old stand as corn can be equally or more persistent than weeds. Even then, expect some of the old plants to live.
Heat units from April 1 through June 14 at Tekamah, NE based on 34 year averages are 141.06 above average. This equates to 6.98 present June days.