Prevented Planting: What Are My Options? - U of I Extension

News Release

Prevented Planting: What Are My Options?


June 5, 2019

Here we are in June and now we must take several factors into account tomake the most profitable decisions, and we only have a few days to do it. This includes making an accurate assessment of maximum corn yield potential, soybean yield potential, and feasibility of delayed planting and prevented planting plans. Regional research will tell you that the time to consider a shift to shorter season corn hybrid occurs after June 1st and with the rainfall expected to continue, many won’t be able to get into the fields for some time after that. This situation is worsened by the wet fall which prevented many field operations from getting done, many of which still need to get done in order for planting to take place. The reality is that “prevented plant” option is becoming a real possibility for many producers. Once the final planting date (June 5thfor corn and June 15th for soybeans) arrives, producers generally have four options:

1.     Take a prevented planting payment (at 55-60% of the guarantee) and not plant a crop to be harvested or grazed prior to November 1.

2.     Plant corn (no prevented planting payment) which can be insured with decreasing returns throughout the late planting period.

3.     Plant another harvestable crop but no prevented planting payment is received.

4.      Take 35% of the corn prevented planting payment and plant another crop for harvest after the late planting period for corn on June 26th.

Importantly, talk with crop advisors, Extension field agronomists and insurance providers as soon as possible to gather information to make the best decision. Remember that producers will only have 72 hours after the final planting date (June 5) to make a decision on prevented planting coverage. Final planting dates and late planting periods vary by crop and by area. Check your policy or contact your insurance agent as soon as possible for dates and more information about your insurance coverage. For a great rundown of these options, producers are encouraged to look at the University of Illinois FarmDoc articles “Prevented Planting Decision for Corn in the Midwest” and “Prevented Planting, 2019 Market Facilitation Program Payments, Disaster Assistance, and Price Dynamics,” for a quick rundown of these options with examples.

 In situations where no crop will be planted, control practices still should be implemented to reduce seed production from weed species. Most of the winter annuals have run their course, or will soon, but our problematic summer annuals (marestail, waterhemp, and giant ragweed) are now growing quickly. Soon, these problematic weeds will be too large to control properly with herbicides, so tillage may be one of the better options for controlling established marestail. Glyphosate combined with metribuzin, or glyphosate with products like Sharpen could still be viable possibilities for control in corn. As always, be sure to follow the label. In situations where possible, planting into a “clean field” will prevent escapes later on in the season; any weed seed produced in 2019 will add to the seed bank and cause issues down the road.

Extension Weed Specialist Dr. Aaron Hager answers many weed control questions in detail in his article “Weed Management on Prevented Planting Acres.” Regardless of the choice made, do something, anything, but get that ground covered. In particular, if you use a grass cover crop (such as oats, wheat, and cereal rye), growth regulator herbicides can be used to economically control late emerging broadleaf weeds. Aside from the numerous environmental benefits of cover cropping, leaving the ground fallow greatly increases the threat of soil erosion and improves likelihood of leaching nitrates, sulfates and other nutrients. What some may not know however, is that leaving ground bare also encourages a situation known as “fallow syndrome, “which can occur when there is no plant growth in an area for an extended period of time. Fallow syndrome is essentially stunted growth due to a lack of phosphorus uptake following a fallow period. Corn and small grains tend to be more affected by fallow syndrome, although it has been reported as an issue in soybean stands as well. This year may be an opportunity to try some things you normally would not feel comfortable doing, incorporating cover crops into the system to boost productivity of your next cash crop. Importantly, always consider herbicide and harvest restrictions prior to implementation of new practices into your production system. When in doubt, reach out to your local extension office, we will be glad to help.

If you would like more information about delayed planting, visit the Illinois Extension website at For additional questions, contact Phillip Alberti, Crop Science Educator with University of Illinois Extension in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at, 815-599-3644 or on Twitter (@NorthernILCrops).

Source: Phillip Alberti, Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture,

Pull date: August 1, 2019