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June 22, 2011

Heavy Rains Cause Ponding across Midwest

Rain makes grain, but too much rain can also be a problem as well and that is the case in southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, much of Illinois, the mid-South, southwest Minnesota, parts of the Dakotas and as well along the floodplain of the Missouri River.

If the corn or the soybean plants are still small and the plants are completely submerged in the water for just a few days, the plants will die and the area will need to be replanted once it dries out. If the corn or soybean plants are a little bigger or if they are not completely submerged, they can withstand being in the water for a while longer, but it's still going to cause a problem. Even if the plants don't die, the saturated conditions can cause additional root and stalk diseases, a loss of nitrogen, and generally stunted plant growth.

The decision to replant or not will depend on the crop, how long it takes to dry out, and the type of crop insurance carried by the farmer. By the time many of these areas dry out, it will be the third week of June at the earliest and probably too late to replant most of the drowned out corn. For soybeans, it wouldn't be too late to replant if they could get back into the fields sometime this week or next week, but any soybeans planted this late will essentially be the equivalent of double crop soybeans with a somewhat lower yield potential.