The cost of flooding to Arkansas farmers will be more than the repair or replacement of damaged buildings, storage bins, combines and roads. The do-over cost for crops wiped out by water will likely be in the millions of dollars.

“The single biggest input for replanting is the seed, and that cost varies by variety,” Scott Stiles, Extension economist-risk management for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, said Wednesday. For growers, the good news is that “some seed companies may replace the seed at a reduced cost; perhaps covering 50 to 75 percent of the replant seed costs.”

There are dozens of factors that go into calculating the cost to plant or replant a crop. Each grower will likely face a different situation. To provide a broad snapshot of costs per acre to replant corn, Stiles factored in tillage, planting, seed, and some allowance for additional fertilizer and a burndown herbicide.

Estimated planting costs for corn could fall in the range of $78 to $105 per acre depending on how much of the replant seed cost is covered by seed dealers. Arkansas farmers were expected to plant 480,000 acres of corn this year.

Rice replanting costs range from about $43 per acre for conventional varieties to $140 an acre for Clearfield hybrids, according to Brad Watkins, associate professor-agricultural economics for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Arkansas growers were expected to plant 1.4 million acres of rice in 2011.

Estimated seed costs alone for replanting rice are:

  • Conventional -- $43 per acre drill-seeded, $39 per acre water-seeded.
  • Clearfield -- $89 per acre drill-seeded, $80 per acre water-seeded.
  • Hybrid -- $111.18 per acre.
  • Clearfield hybrids -- $140 per acre.

Seed costs for drill-seeded conventional and Clearfield varieties assume both paddies and levees are seeded, while seed costs for water-seed conventional and Clearfleld varieties assume only paddies are seeded.

Replanting costs vary based on drill seeding or water seeding, with estimated drill-seeding charges totaling $27 per acre and estimated water-seeding charges totaling $25 per acre. If levees must be reconstructed following replanting, additional levee reconstruction costs are estimated to range from $5 per acre for water seeding to $8 per acre for drill seeding.

Because most of the planting period for soybeans is ahead of growers, replanting costs are not included.

According to the May 9 crop progress report, some planting occurred during the week ending May 8. Corn was 89 percent planted compared with 87 percent the previous week, with 84 percent emerged. Other crops:

  • Rice was 53 percent planted, up from 45 percent the previous week, and 43 percent of the crop was emerged.
  • Sorghum was 67 percent planted, up from 59 percent the previous week, with 55 percent emerged.
  • Soybeans were 21 percent planted, up from 14 percent the previous week, with 14 percent emerged.
  • Cotton was still in its early stages, with 11 percent planted, up from 6 percent the previous week. The crop was 5 percent emerged.

For more information on crop production contact your county Extension agent or visit www.uaex.edu and www.arkansascrops.com.