rain

Managing Crops after High Rainfall Amounts

 


When it rains, it pours—and that’s not always a bad thing after the dry spells we’ve had over the past few years. But now that it’s drying up in places, don’t forget how much rainfall we have experienced throughout this growing season.

When soils are full of water, or as we say, at field capacity or saturated, nutrients are more readily available for plants to take up and use. This leads to higher growth rates, growing larger, healthier plants that are more capable of producing high yields.

But, too much moisture in too little time can cause some problems in your fields if you’re not careful. Now’s the time to pay extra close attention to diseases, pests and nutrients.

 

Disease and Pest Management

Regular Monitoring and Early Detection

Regularly inspect crops for early signs of disease and pest infestations. Early detection allows for timely intervention, & prevents minor issues from becoming major problems. 

This spring we have seen multiple cases of seedling diseases in both corn and soybeans. We aren’t able to fix these seedling diseases, but we can make notes for next spring and choose our hybrids differently going forward. Knowing seedling scores can make or break a stand, and our Liqui-Grow Sales Applicators are trained and knowledgeable in hybrid selection and placement.

Many of the fungi that produce the diseases we see in corn and soybeans overwinter in the crop residue and will infect the crop in spring depending if conditions are right. Tillage and rotation often help to combat these fungi. In reduced or no-till systems, we see higher levels of disease pressure. The spring we have experienced so far is potentially setting us up for a disease-stricken year. Some of those factors are:

  • Hard pounding rains splash fungi inoculum onto the leaves and plant and we will continue to see disease grow as the season continues.
  • Winds, hail and rain have created openings or lacerations on leaves, providing points of entry for fungi to infect crops.
  • Water standing for any period of time can deplete oxygen in the soil and stress the plants.
  • Compounding effects of adverse conditions early on this growing season has lowered the “immune system” of the crop in the field. 

This may feel like doom and gloom information, but a lot can still be done to help grow a good crop, and high yields. Dr. Jake fills us in on what to watch for in fields this season in one of our latest Liqui-Grow Loop videos.

Scouting is KEY to Applying Fungicides

The biggest thing this year after all the heavy spring rainfall would be, paying attention and scouting for fungicide applications. R1, for corn, is usually the most effective timing for fungicide, but if disease sets in early, going early might be beneficial to the crop. General recommendations for soybean fungicide is at R3. Keep in mind, R1 and R2 are such short windows for soybeans, you need to have that pass planned and organized in order to be at the field during R3. Heavy spring rainfalls should not change fungicide timing by much in soybeans. But scout for White Mold, which is caused by spores infecting the plant through its flowers, making the R1 time frame critical for disease. 

Fungicide applications can take care of diseases before they even appear, but scouting for those diseases is key! Get in touch with your Liqui-Grow sales applicator to learn more today!

Nitrogen Management

Side Dress, Y-Drop

As the soil profile exceeds field capacity we often are exposed to nitrogen loss, either through leaching or denitrification. 

  • Leaching is when a nutrient is lost deeper into the soil and out of the root zone. Nitrate is carried by the water and because it has a negative charge, the soil won’t hold onto it, and it will leach down into the soil profile, making it unavailable for the plants to use.   
  • Denitrification is when nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere. To hear more about this in-depth, reach out to our Liqui-Grow sales applicators on how to protect your nitrogen source. 

Before you assume you lost a certain amount of nitrogen, you need to know: how much you put down, what was your application timing, did you use a stabilizer, what was the amount of rainfall your farm experienced and what form of nitrogen did you apply. By answering those questions we can help make a recommendation on how much nitrogen you still need. To learn more about nitrogen loss, watch our new L.E.A.D. Academy video.

Utilizing Foliar Feeding

Foliar feeding involves applying nutrients and biologicals directly to the leaves, ensuring that plants receive essential nutrients during critical growth stages, especially when soil conditions are not ideal. Your Liqui-Grow sales applicator can help you decide when a foliar application may be necessary.

Staying in touch with your Liqui-Grow sales applicator is the key to making sure your crops stay happy and healthy with increased rainfall this season.

Questions? Give us a shout! 

Text us at 564-220-2508 or email questions@liqui-grow.com.