Farmers get advice on replanting following flood

The wettest spring in recent memory and the subsequent flooding has left many area farmers with some tough decisions.

Mark Licht, extension agronomist, presented a program at the Iowa State University Marshall County Extension office Wednesday to farmers about their options with their wet fields.

He said replanting corn at this point would produce an estimated 50 percent of a regular yield, while subbing in soybeans could reach 60 percent of a regular yield.

None of the farmers in attendance said they plan to replant any corn at this time, when asked as a group by Licht.

“A poor (corn) stand is probably better than trying to start over again,” Licht said.

Those now planting soybeans instead of their corn crop will also have to look at herbicide restrictions as well. Licht recommends if this occurs farmers should talk to their herbicide provider.

Late planting has its drawbacks, especially with frost that could come as early as September.

“That’s probably the biggest concern is where we are going to sit as far as frost risk,” Licht said.

For those farmers taking preventative planting payments, a cover crop needs to be planted. Planting cover crops, such as summer annuals or small grains, late in the summer can prevent erosion in areas that are now flooded and non-plantable for beans and corn.

“Planting a (cover) crop out there gives us better soil health,” Licht said.

Licht recommends planting small grains such as winter rye or winter triticale as cover crops.

Farmers were urged to talk to their crop insurance agent to learn about their replanting options and how their coverage rate changes.

Licht said Iowa weather always has a way of averaging out. He wishes it didn’t have to average out so fast from the drought last year to a very wet spring.

“We’ve had both ends of the spectrum in about 12 months,” Licht said.