It’s understandable for farmers to make snap judgments to replant a soybean crop after it’s been injured by weather events, herbicide drift or other causes.
But immediately after those occurrences is typically a bad time to assess the situation because crop injury can look worse than it really is. Instead, allow at least three days to see whether your plants show signs of new growth.
After that, your decision should be based on whether your profitability prospects are greater from the existing stand or replanting. Here are five additional considerations to help make your replanting decision easier:
1. Crop insurance: If your crop is insured, it is important to consult with the insurance provider immediately.
2. Timing and plant spacing: If it is late May or June and you have four plants per row foot in 30-inch rows or one plant per row foot in drilled beans, there is probably no benefit to replanting.
If you do decide to replant, use the same varieties you originally planted and modify other factors that are related to the cause of the problem. If you can’t find the same variety, find one with the same maturity. This will allow you to harvest at the same time.
3. Stand count and assessment: A stand count is essential if your field sustained random and substantial plant loss. If young stands contain large areas of damaged plants, replanting only those areas might be an easy choice.
4. Cause of damage: The severity of the damage to a soybean plant can vary widely based on the cause. For example, an early-season hail storm or frost will more easily destroy young soybean plants compared with corn.
That’s because the growing point of corn remains in the soil until roughly the V6 stage while a soybean plant’s growing point is above ground at emergence. On the other hand, for damage caused by herbicide drift, soybean plants in even the very early vegetative stages have the ability to compensate for even severe damage.
Plants in the early flowering stages can often compensate enough to recover sufficiently that there is no impact on yield.
5. Other factors: It is important to take into consideration all the costs associated with replanting a soybean crop, including fuel, seed, crop insurance and labor. Injured soybeans tend to be more susceptible to disease, so additional input costs should also be factored in.
Finally, recent applications of residual herbicide could prevent replanting. Make sure that you follow replant instructions on the herbicide label.