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Competency Area 6: Considerations in Replanting Decisions

PO 27. Describe the type of damage that hail, frost, drought and wind can cause corn, small grains, soybeans and forage crops.

Hail and wind damage are not significant issues with perennial forage crops. Frost may damage new seedlings, but generally not if they are sown at the proper time. Some frost damage of leaves is not significant, only if plants are frozen to the ground should replanting be considered. Flooding and drought are the major environmental stresses for forage crops. Alfalfa is very susceptible to poor soil drainage conditions, whereas many grasses are somewhat resistant or very resistant, such as reed canarygrass. Perennial grasses are frequently subject to drought damage, which appears as a drying and dying back of leaf blades from the tip and leaf margins, accompanied by minimal plant growth. Alfalfa winter kill or winter damage is typically a cumulative effect of a series of stresses, such as stand age, winter-hardiness of the variety, disease resistance of the variety, soil drainage, soil moisture in the fall/winter, harvest frequency, etc.