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Last-minute Tips to Adjust for Uncertain Planting Dates

April 26, 2019
An agronomic image with corn seedlings begining to sprout.

Despite the varied weather Mother Nature has been throwing at us, crops will be planted. Even if exactly when remains a mystery, today’s equipment can help you make up for lost time. We offer some last-minute tips as you finalize your plans for the coming season.

Assess soil conditions

We know you’re eager to get in the fields. Soil conditions can help guide a couple decisions. It may be best to hold off a bit if soils are still wet. Working soils that are too wet can result in compaction, which has many lasting consequences including:

  • Reduced plant health because of limited root penetration and growth.
  • Increased likelihood of water runoff because of decreased infiltration rates.
  • Less efficient use of nutrients by plants because of limitations in how nutrients move within the soil.

In addition, moist soils are preferred by soilborne pathogens like Pythium and Phytophthora. These pathogens can cause seed rot, root rot, damping off and seedling blight. As a result, crop emergence, stand establishment and plant vigor are compromised. Listen to insights from Marty Wiglesworth, Syngenta agronomy service manager for the East Coast.

Be sure to protect your valuable seed with one of our many seed treatment solutions. They help reduce the risk from early-season disease and insect pressure while optimizing root health, stress tolerance and plant vigor for better emergence.

Evaluate your weed profiles

Soil conditions also impact weed development. Some questions to consider as you evaluate your weed profiles that could lead to management tweaks:

  • Are soils warm enough for weeds to germinate?
  • Have soils dried enough to apply burndown or pre-emergence herbicides?
  • If your fields were affected by flooding from hurricanes or this year’s heavy rains, it’s possible the waters carried weed seeds. Which new weeds may impact your fields this season?
  • And which historically emerge in your fields?

Jeff Mink, Syngenta agronomy service manager for the Southern U.S., offers this advice to help you get a head-start on weeds.

Knowing which weeds to prepare for on your farm and also understanding the real threat of herbicide resistance are key drivers in developing a weed management program. Visit ResistanceFighter.com for insights on managing against resistance and herbicide options that fit your farm.

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