Midwestern states do not typically deal with a lack of rainfall, but the trend for short-term drought is increasing. Drought creates yield and quality issues for crops. Here are management changes that could help during dry conditions.
Broadcast interseeding cover crops in a drought year is a challenge. While we are cautiously optimistic about the overall emergence and stand counts, winter and early spring precipitation will determine cover crop productivity next spring.
Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Ph.D., Overton, and Jamie Foster, Ph.D., Beeville, said careful management early in a drought can minimize long-term stand damage and help maintain forage yields when rains do come.
Dryland soybean fields have started to experience heat stress combined with long periods without rainfall. This article reviews potential symptoms of drought and heat stress on soybeans. Producers should scout their fields for signs of stress in order to make timely decisions as the growing season progresses.
A number of farmers are asking some pretty difficult questions on the value of drought-damaged corn for various uses, including as feed and for soil protection. Previous data collected in Kansas on drought-affected corn used measurements of the plant stand, height, dry matter, and moisture content to estimate biomass production and nutrient uptake/value of the biomass.
In his latest blog entry, Clay Pope writes, "The crazy weather we have always had in the southern great plains really has been shot full of steroids. We must get ready as best we can for what lies ahead!"
In his latest blog entry, Clay Pope writes: "As drought increases across the Southern Plains, agriculture producers should think long and hard before rushing into their fields to plow up acres where wheat is being abandoned or where they are considering growing summer crops. We all know that soil erosion is a constant concern in our part of the world and we all know what the wind has been doing these last few weeks. We really need to be careful."
>La Nina conditions are still persistent across the Equatorial Pacific and the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has placed the odds of this event continuing through this upcoming summer (June–August) at 59% and a 50-55% chance that these conditions will persist through this fall (September–October).
Ronnie Schnell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Bryan-College Station, says actual planted sorghum acres could be above the USDA’s prospective survey report for a variety of reasons, most notably drought and high fertilizer prices.
On this episode of Conservation Ag Update, brought to you by Montag, we’re on the road at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. Jeff Hadacheck from Wisconsin-Madison discusses the long term economic benefits of integrating winter wheat in your corn-soybean rotation. Plus, we visit with Brandon Somers at the Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR) insights meeting. Somers talks about his ideal no-till planter.
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