MIDWEST: Every experience, whether good or bad, should be treated as a learning experience. From 2012, you could say there wasn’t much to learn from the drought. However, you could definitely tell what didn’t work that year.
As 2013 has come to an end for most, it rolled up its own challenges. Maybe a drought knocked at your door again, or charcoal rot sucked the life out of your soybean plants, or maybe it was too wet early in the season and your corn crop was hit hard by compaction, nitrogen removal, soil diseases and the like.
With grain prices a hot topic around the country, paying detailed attention to your input decisions will be highly important. If you have already purchased your seed for next year, or are still in the buying mode, think about where these products will get the most bang for their buck given what you learned about your fields this year. Maybe it’s a soybean variety with high charcoal rot scores, or maybe it’s a corn hybrid that handles wet feet really well. Maybe it’s thinking about how to provide your hybrid with the appropriate amounts of nitrogen at the right time, now that fall ammonia applications are coming to an end.
The picture below shows a local corn field that had many challenges from wet feet early on, compaction, soil-borne diseases and late-season drought stress. In this particular situation now is when you should be looking for a hybrid with good tolerance to these different stressors. Realizing that plans can quickly change as the stressful planting season gets under way, it’s nice to have an idea of where certain products will go to bring you the extra bushels needed to make up for any price drops in the market.
All photos are the property of Syngenta unless otherwise noted.
Reporting from Leonard, MO