What to do with replant crops at harvest?

October 9, 2019 3:55 PM
Blog Post

An Iowa farmer sent me an email in anticipation of the freeze this weekend and I suspect many farmers are in the similar position of having mature crops with replant that may not be mature yet. Read more about my thoughts on how to handle this situation below.


I have May-planted corn that is mature and looks good, but approximately 20% of the acreage was replanted in June and scattered throughout the field. That corn is small and has insect feeding and some ear mold. The corn is between ¼ and ½ milk line. Do I combine the field to blend the June corn in with the May or combine the two separately?


Please don’t blend it in the field. Corn that is not yet mature will likely be in the mid or upper 30s for moisture and will have a low test weight, making it very difficult to store. If you take the corn directly to the elevator, it will be the luck of the draw on what they get for a sample. Additionally, if you chose to try and store blended corn yourself, problems with spoilage would be a near certainty.

Instead, leave the June-planted corn in the field until the end of harvest. Your elevator may cut you some slack on discounts if you discuss the situation with them and bring the light corn in separately. Ultimately, it is easier for both them and you to manage with all the light corn together rather than unpredictably scattered with better corn in large bin(s).

While this response is directed toward those with variably maturing corn, the answer would remain the same for those with replant soybeans that will mature later than other soybeans in the same field. Another recent ICM Blog article on "Harvest considerations for frost killed corn" is worth reviewing, but if you’ve got further questions about handling grain with low test weights or damage, please reach out to your local field agronomist.


Charles Hurburgh Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Dr. Charles R. Hurburgh, Charlie to most everyone, is a native Iowan from Rockwell City (Iowa, USA). He continues to operate the family farm, and is a professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. He has a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctoral degree fr...