How To’s of Crop Damage Assessment
- Identify the plant growth stage. If it’s difficult to determine, use planting date and growing degree days as a guide. Information on determining plant growth stage is also available in:
- Nebraska Soybean and Corn Pocket Field Guide (2017 edition), Nebraska Soybean Board
- Nebraska Extension Guide to Weed, Disease and Insect Management in Nebraska (EC130), which includes growth stage illustrations for corn, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, sugar beets.
- Take photos as soon as possible after the hail event to document damage and then continue taking photos of the same areas throughout the season. Photos need to be identified by location, date of the photo, and date of the hail event.
- Follow up 7-10 days after the event as it is usually impossible to make an accurate damage determination immediately after the event. Take photos and note location, date of photo, and date of event.
- Determine the crop stand after hail. (Always determine crop stands early in the season so you have a base number with which to compare your post-hail stand count.)
- Be prepared to implement additional weed management practices. After hail one of you best weed management practices ― crop competition ― may be reduced or eliminated.
- Check herbicide rotation and replant restrictions for products used this year and, with many herbicides, used the previous year. Some herbicides have as much as a 36-month rotation restriction or require a plant bioassay before replanting or planting to another crop can be considered.
- Always contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and your insurance agency before implementing any practice that could affect these programs or policies.