So you have got hailed crops – now what?
First and foremost , don’t panic! Plants not killed outright by hail usually show new growth within 3 to 5 days after injury occurs. Hail damage estimates should be delayed several days to allow for this period of re-growth. There are tons of resources to help you evaluate hailed crops. Here is one from UNL for corn and beans. http://cropwatch.unl.edu/assessing-hail-damage-corn-and-soybean
Both of these do a good job figuring out how extensive the damage is. As you will probably note corn is more tolerant than beans to hail since at this time of year the growing point is more likely to be protected. Soybeans have the growing point exposed almost immediately. Still don’t automatically assume a stand is lost without running the numbers.
Replant or leave it?
Again, there are plenty of resources to be had here. The above publications provide some guidance. Often it comes down to if you replant, can you justify the associated costs and yield loss with a late planting compared to what is currently in the field. If you’re thinking about switching crops then don’t forget to look at what herbicide program you used to see if it is compatible with your new crop choice.
Purdue put together a nice document on decision of replanting corn. http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/pubs/AY-264-W.pdf Iowa State has a good document on soybean replanting decisions https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/pm1851-pdf
A hailed crop has just been through a very traumatic event. It needs time to recover and then get back to growing because you want the plant as healthy as possible heading into tassel and reproductive stages. So what can you do at this stage? Did you know Nebraska consultants were some of the first to document the positive effect of an application of Headline following hail events in 2006? Also the previous document I linked from UNL “Evaluating Hail Damage to Corn” states that “ In corn, most yield reduction due to hail damage results from a loss of photosynthetically active leaf area”. Research has shown that Priaxor fungicide provides early disease protection of wounded plants, increased photosynthesis of the corn and soybean leaves and increases root growth. Priaxor also provides the ability to help deal with stress such as hail events but reducing stress induced compounds such as ethylene. All those surviving corn plants in your fields need increased photosynthesis and root growth now more than ever! What about soybeans? The same benefits translate to beans. Your surviving soybean plants are going to need all the disease protection, photosynthesis and root growth they can get to as they get try to get back on track. While a Priaxor application won’t make the corn or soybean leaves “grow back together” it can be very beneficial in the recovery of the plant.