Blog Post

After the flood: Dealing with wet fields

OHIO: I was driving past a field the other day and saw this. At least this grower still has his sense of humor intact, but the question remains – how do you manage areas that were severely flooded?

For growers who were unable to double-crop this season, there are two problems that should be addressed. The first is “Fallow Syndrome.” This is the term generally applied to poor productivity of soils that have been so severely flooded that there is virtually no plant growth. In these areas, there is not only no plant growth, but also no growth of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi. These grow on and around plant roots and greatly assist them in taking up nutrients from the soil. If flooded areas were not double-cropped with soybeans this summer or if they will not be planted to wheat this fall, then consider a cover crop to help re-establish the mycorrhizal fungi for your 2016 crops.

Flooded soils also have negative impacts on a field, especially on the Rhizobium bacteria that produce the nitrogen needed for a good soybean crop. Generally, the bacteria survive well in a typical corn/soy/wheat rotation, but they are known to struggle under conditions such as low soil pH, severe drought and long-term flooded soils. Growers with severely flooded fields should consider inoculating with a high quality strain of Rhizobia the next time those fields go back to soybeans – either in 2016 or 2017 – even if inoculating is not a standard practice.

All photos are the property of Syngenta unless otherwise noted.

Reporting from Hardin County, OH

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