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Surviving an Early Season Hail Event
June 7, 2017

Surviving an Early Season Hail Event

Unusually wet weather presented a number of challenges early in this growing season but, now that your crop is in the ground, it’s time to turn your focus to the next possible threat – severe weather.

Hail can cause stand loss and loss of leaf area for photosynthesis, both of which result in a reduction in yield and a hit to your bottom line. And, while there’s little you can do to fend off Mother Nature, the experts at Monsanto offer the following advice for those dealing with the effects of severe weather.

Be Patient – Wait a minimum of five days before making any re-plant decisions – the crop could recover with a little time.

Examine the Growing Point – The growing point of the corn is below the surface until the collar of the sixth leaf is visible. Its job is to create new tissue for above ground growth. If the growing point is still below soil when the storm occurs, the plant should be able to recover. However, if hail managed to damage the growing point or stalk below the surface, the crop likely won’t make it.

Don’t Sweat Leaf Damage – Shredded and twisted leaves can actually be in better shape than you think. Shredded leaves that are still attached still have some ability to contribute to plant growth. Twisted leaves usually grow out and separate within three to 5 days.

Assess the Stand – After waiting five days to give the stand a chance to recover, begin estimating what is left in your field. Only count plants that have a good chance of survival. One way to evaluate what is left is by counting the number of plants in a length of row equal to 1/1,000th of an acre based on row width. Multiply that by 1,000 to get the plants per acre. Repeat that process in several locations of a field.

Once that is done, compare the yield potential of the current stand to the yield potential of the target re-planting date and population, along with the cost associated with re-planting. The experts say this is important, because a later planting date with a full stand may not yield as much when compared to an earlier planting date and thinner stand.

For more information about the effects of early season hail damage to corn, visit http://bit.ly/2r8NWBh.

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