NORTH DAKOTA: Due to the lack of snowfall throughout the Upper Midwest this winter and light rainfall predicted, drought is a real possibility for much of the region this spring. Consider the following management options for corn and soybeans to ensure you’re ready.
- Planting rate: Avoid higher-than-average rates (35,000 seeds per acre or higher) and implement a lower 32,000 seeds per acre to conserve water resources.
- Variety selection: Selecting hybrids that will use water effectively all season long (like Agrisure Artesian® corn hybrids) is important, as is choosing one with a flex ear. The flex ear will fill in the yield gaps that result from a reduced planting rate.
- Tillage: Try to reduce tillage to conserve soil moisture early in the season.
- Disease protection: Applying a fungicide early will help keep the plant healthy and help reduce water loss.
- Crop Rotation: Avoid having corn follow crops that are heavy users of water like sugarbeets and sunflowers. In fields where high-water users were grown, you’re better off planting an early-season crop like spring wheat that can finish before the summer heat sets in.
- Planting rate: Consider lowering your planting rate and decreasing your row spacing to reduce drought stress.
- Variety selection: Choose a drought-tolerant variety, but also remember plant height when making your selection. If droughty conditions do occur, choosing a taller variety will result in less plant height loss in the fall. .
- Disease protection:A fungicide like Quilt Xcel® can help keep diseases under control and reduce plant transpiration rates to conserve water.
Contact your local Syngenta representative for more recommendations.
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Reporting from Fargo, ND