The last two weeks have not been kind for much of the corn planted in Arkansas. Tremendous rainfall totals have fell across most of Arkansas with many areas reporting 10 to 15 inches and some as high as 20 inches of rain.

Only the far southeast corner of the state has received lesser amounts. Many fields have been flooded, are flooded, or will be flooded as some rivers continue to rise.

Will my corn survive the floodwater?

This has been a common question asked by many producers. This is a complicated question that has lots of factors involved. However, in general, fields that were submerged for 24 hours or less are likely to be fine, provided the soil does not stay saturated for days on end.

In previous years when corn is submerged by floodwater for two to three days the corn has survived, especially if the temperatures are cool and the water has been moving.

Corn that has been submerged for four days or more is less likely to survive (but still can). The cool temperatures that we have had in the last few days will likely help the corn plant hang on a little longer.

How late can I plant corn and expect good yields?

Some producers already know that they are going to need to replant corn (have contracts that they can’t get out of or have atrazine applied). Then the question becomes how much yield will be lost when planting in mid-May compared to a traditional late March or early April planting.

In the planting date studies that we have conducted in the last few years, mid-May planted corn has suffered little to no yield loss compared to earlier plantings with good management and irrigation in central and northeast Arkansas. I know of several producer fields that have been planted in northeast Arkansas as late as May 20 and still made 200 bushels per acre. We had a corn research verification field planted May 20 a few years ago that also made slightly over 200 bushels per acre.