What will replanting entail?
Farmers faced with extensive crop loss from hail will have the decision of whether to replant, and whether it is possible to shift to soybeans because of such a late date.
Replant costs including seed, labor and fuel, currently represent approximately 13% of the original crop potential. Replant costs are extra, so reduce the yield potential by 13% to pay the replant costs. Although the cost to replant may vary greatly from farm to farm and year to year, be sure to include other real costs in the costs of replanting. These include interest on loans taken to replant, and opportunity costs due to time spent replanting that could have been used for other profitable (or profit-saving) activities. Replant costs may be partially or completely compensated for if you have crop hail insurance that carries a replant clause. If you have insurance, notify your agent of your loss and ask about replant cost-sharing.
If the crop is so badly damaged that it will not be economically feasible to pay the harvest costs, destroying the crop and planting a cover crop may be the best alternative. It is not good to leave the land fallow because of the effect of fallowing on the next crop. For instance, if the next crop is corn, phosphorus deficiency often occurs during the early vegetative growth periods of corn grown on fallow soil.
Early season hail can not only devastate a crop, but make a replanting decision much more complex than later in the growing season, because that eliminates any replant issues. Hail insurance is usually inexpensive but producers with a hail policy should consult their agent for details on replanting and leaving evidence of the damage for adjusters to later inspect for indemnity calculation. Numerous issues enter into the replant decision, but costs should be considered along with the potential for yield compared to the late date.