EXCESSIVE RAINFALL RESULTS IN CROP LOSS
The old saying “rain makes grain” may hold true in many instances; however, this year’s excessive precipitation
amounts early in the growing season has caused extensive crop loss in some areas of the Upper Midwest. Large
portions of Southern Minnesota, along with adjoining areas of Northern Iowa, and Eastern South Dakota have
been impacted by severe storms and excessive rainfall amounts in recent weeks. This has caused considerable
drown-out areas in fields, as well as crop damage to the remaining crop in many fields. As of June 21, many rivers
across Southern Minnesota were above flood stage, closing roads and flooding farm fields. Some farm operators
with flood plain farm land that avoided the initial crop loss following the heavy rainfall events, are now
experiencing major flooding and crop loss due to the rising rivers and streams.

Most of the affected region have received 150 to 200 percent or more, of their normal rainfall amounts since late
April, with even higher levels of above normal rainfall during the month of June. Some locations have received
5-10 inches of rain or more during the week from June 15-21, with more expected in future days. Most soils in
the region are totally saturated and drainage systems are at capacity, so any amount of excessive rainfall can quite
rapidly result in considerable standing water in crop fields. In most areas of Southern Minnesota, Northern Iowa,
and Eastern South Dakota, the primary crop loss has been to existing crops that had already been planted once or
twice in 2024; however, there are some farm operators had not completed their 2024 corn and soybean planting
prior to the heavy rainfall events in June.

As of June 19, prior to the heavy rainfall events of June 20-22, the University of Minnesota Southern Research
and Outreach Center at Waseca had received over 7 inches of rainfall during the month of June, which compares
to a normal average June rainfall of 5.32 inches. From April 1 through June 19, the Waseca location had received
over 19 inches of precipitation, which is approximately 8 inches above the normal precipitation during that period.
The U of M Southwest Research and Outreach Center at Lamberton recorded 9.94 inches of precipitation from
May 1 through June 17, prior to the heavy rainfall that has occurred since that time, which was 67 percent above
the normal precipitation for the early portion of the growing season. Several locations in Southern Minnesota and
Northern Iowa have now received June precipitation amounts that are among the highest ever and have had total
precipitation amounts since May 1st that are 2-3 times the normal amount for that period.

In addition to the crop loss from the excess precipitation, another major concern that is developing as a result of
the frequent heavy June rainfall events is the loss or lack of available nitrogen for the growing corn. Much of the
nitrogen fertilizer for the 2024 corn crop was applied last Fall or early this Spring, prior to planting. Soil nitrogen
losses increase substantially during heavy rainfall events early in the growing season, such as have occurred in
the past few weeks. Many corn plants have developed very shallow root systems, which have not been able to
access the nitrogen that is deeper in the soil profile. In some cases, farmers planned to side dress the nitrogen after
planting, but have been unable to do so due to the continual saturated field conditions. As a result of these
situations, there may be a need for supplemental nitrogen applications to maintain normal crop development.

Another concern with the persistent wet field conditions is timely herbicide applications for weed control.
Producers that were relying totally on post-emergence herbicides for weed control have had difficulty getting
these products applied in a timely fashion, which is resulting in strong weed pressure in some fields. We have
already passed the time window for allowable applications of dicamba herbicide in soybeans, as well as for some
other post-emergence herbicides used in corn and soybeans. Producers should contact their agronomist or crop
consultant for further considerations regarding additional nitrogen for the 2024 corn crop, as well as for late
season post-emergence herbicide options for this year’s crop.

The month of June has featured normal or above normal temperatures in most portions of the Corn Belt. As of
June 19, the accumulated growing degree units (GDU’s) at the Waseca Research Center since May 1 totaled 706
GDU’s, which is approximately 8 percent ahead of normal. In areas that have avoided the heavy rainfall events
and crop loss in June, the adequate moisture and favorable growing conditions have allowed for rapid
development of corn and soybeans in many areas of the Upper Midwest.

The weekly USDA Crop Condition Report on June 17 listed 72 percent of the U.S. corn crop and 70 percent of
the U.S. soybean crop as “good to excellent”; however, that crop rating has declined in the past couple of weeks
due to developing dryness in portions of the Eastern Corn Belt and the Central Plains States. The “good-to excellent” crop ratings for Minnesota were 71 percent for corn and 70 percent for soybeans, with only 3 percent
of the corn and 2 percent of the soybeans rated as “poor”. The Minnesota numbers could likely decline in the
coming weeks, following the frequent heavy rainfall events during June in the primary corn and soybean
production areas in Southern Minnesota. The June 17 “good-to-excellent” crop ratings in Iowa were at 74 percent
for both corn and soybeans, while Nebraska was at 81 percent for corn and 79 percent for soybeans, and South
Dakota was at 78 percent for corn and 75 percent for soybeans.

Crop Insurance Considerations
Another factor affecting replant and crop management decisions following the excessive rainfall events in June
is the type Federal Crop Insurance policy and level of insurance coverage that a farm operator is carrying for
2024. Producers with a “replant clause” on their crop insurance coverage could be eligible for some compensation
for replanting following crop losses from heavy rains, hail, or other natural causes. To qualify for replant
compensation, farmers must have a loss area of at least 20 acres, or 20 percent of the total acres in an insured
farm unit, whichever is less. With “enterprise units”, smaller areas of fields may be grouped together to reach
that threshold level. The crop insurance replant provision can only be exercised once in a given year on the same
crop acres. Some farm operators may have already used the replant option following poor emergence in late May
or early June, and thus could not use the replant provision again following the recent excessive rainfall.

Crop producers will need to decide if replanting corn or soybeans this late is a viable option. Corn could likely
only be used as livestock feed, and soybeans planted around July 1 in Southern Minnesota may only have a yield
potential of about 30-35 bushels per acre. The 2024 crop insurance Spring prices were $4.66 per bushel for corn
and $11.55 per bushel for soybeans. Current prices for December corn futures are near $4.50 per bushel, and near
$11.00 per bushel for November soybean futures. At those price levels with an 85 percent crop insurance policy,
a producer with a 200 bushel per acre APH corn yield would start collecting crop insurance indemnity payments
at a final 2024 corn yield of approximately 176 bushels per acre and with a 60 bushel per acre APH soybean yield,
indemnity payments would be initiated at a final 2024 soybean yield of approximately 53 bushels per acre.

Producers need to report prevented planted and replant acres need their crop insurance agent. The insurance agents
can also be a good resource regarding final planting dates, prevented planting options, and replant considerations.
Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst, has prepared an information sheet titled: “Late and Prevented
Planting Options for 2024”, which contains details on prevented planting and replant requirements and
considerations. To receive a copy of the information sheet, please send an e-mail to: kentthiesse@gmail.com.

Every producer’s situation is different regarding late and prevented planting options, as a result, the best option
will vary considerably from farm-to-farm, depending on differences in yield potential and insurance coverage.
Farm operators should contact their crop insurance agent, agronomist, and farm management advisor to assist
with making decision. The choice that is made could result in a difference of thousands of dollars in the potential
insurance coverage.
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Note — For additional information contact Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst, Green Solutions
Phone — (507) 381-7960; E-mail — kentthiesse@gmail.com