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Compaction, Dry Weather a Bad Mix for Water Uptake

July 29, 2016

Growers in regions that have seen little to no rainfall this season should be mindful of dry weather exaggerating the effect of soil compaction in their fields. Dry weather stresses a plant’s ability to take up water, and if the plant root is already struggling to grow through hard, compacted soil, it makes access to water that much more difficult.

Uneven crop canopies are typically a tell-tale sign of soil compaction. To see if fields are impacted by compaction, Syngenta agronomists recommend that growers take a shovel to the soil of crops that appear to be drought-stressed.

When shoveling, look to find the dense, compacted layer just below the tillage depth. This will confirm whether a field has soil compaction or not.

If growers come across soil compaction in their fields, agronomists recommend the following management options to prevent loss of yield potential:

  • Deeper tillage, but only if the soil is dry enough to allow it
  • Adjust planter/make planter modifications

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