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Yield Expectations for Late Planted Corn and Prevented Planting Considerations
Author: Jason Kelley, Wheat and Feed Grains Extension Agronomist

By Jason Kelley, Extension Agronomist and Scott Stiles, Extension Economist

What are the yield expectations of May planted corn?

For most of us in Arkansas, the spring of 2020 has been one of the most challenging springs in recent times, even without considering the weather limitations that has delayed planting for many so far.  Continued wet weather through late winter to now has limited corn and other crop planting across the state.  The exception would be parts of Northeast Arkansas where producers have been able to get a large portion of their corn planted.  As of April 19th, the Arkansas Agriculture Statistics Service indicated that only 37% of the anticipated 800,000 corn acres had been planted, even lagging behind the exceptionally late planting season of 2019. 

Corn Planting Progress for Week Ending April 19, 2020

Rain that occurred this week will likely keep planters out of the field until early next week.  With later than anticipated planting, questions are steadily coming in about what is the yield potential of late April (best case scenario) or early-mid May planted corn?    

From numerous planting date studies conducted on irrigated corn from 2008-2015 and including data from other relevant agronomic trials from 2016-2019, a summary of expected relative yield potential by planting date for  irrigated corn grown in Northeast, Central, and Southeast Arkansas are listed below.             

summary of expected relative yield potential by planting date for  irrigated corn grown in Northeast, Central, and Southeast Arkansas

The ultimate yield achieved is determined by many factors in addition to planting date including; weather, hybrid, and implementation of timely inputs such as herbicides, fertilizer, irrigation, and a timely harvest.    

In our corn research verification program we have had a limited number of fields that were planted in May (seven fields across the state) over the past 12 years.  Planting dates and corresponding yields are shown below.  These yields are whole field averages and were produced following normal extension recommendations.  

May Planted Corn Research Verification Fields and Yields (2008-19)

This data highlights that good yields can be achieved from late planting with proper management, but also highlights that yield variability can occur if inputs are not applied timely.     

Prevented Planting Information (Scott Stiles)

Some producers will likely consider filing Prevented Planting claims for corn this year.  The “Final Planting Dates” for Arkansas are shown below, and varies by location in the state, April 25th for a majority of the state or May 1 for 10 counties in northern Arkansas. 

Crop Insurance “Final Planting Date”, Corn.

After the “Final Planting Date” (April 25th for a majority of the state, or May 1 (for 10 northern counties) there are a few options to consider:

  1. Late planting of the intended crop is an option after the “Final Plant Date”. There is a 1% per day coverage reduction after the “Final Planting Date” for the length of the “Late Planting Period” (15 days for corn in Arkansas).
  2. If the acres are deemed eligible*, the insured will receive 100% of the Prevented Planting (PP) indemnity if acres are left idle.
    • APH (actual production history yield) is not impacted by prevent plant; if there are planted acres within the field, a weighted average will determine APH.
  3. On a corn-intended field deemed PP, a 2nd crop may be planted after the Final Planting Date. Consult your insurance agent on how soon a 2nd crop can be planted after the Final Planting Date.
    • The 2nd crop must be insured
    • The insured is due 35% of the corn PP indemnity, 35% of the premium will be billed.
    • 60% of the approved yield within the producer’s database will determine APH.
    • If a 2nd crop is planted before the Late Planting Period, PP may not be declared for the original crop, with no premium or indemnity due.

* The above information serves as a general guide. Your crop insurance agent is the most qualified resource to help you determine Prevented Planting eligibility.

Other links:

Flow Chart Decision Model for Prevent Plant:

The USDA Risk Management Agency has an updated fact sheet on Prevented Planting Insurance Provisions at this link:

Frequently Asked Questions on Prevented Planting, USDA Risk Management Agency:

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