Mother Nature dealt another round of statewide heavy rains this past weekend — with most areas receiving over an inch of unwelcomed rain just as many farmers were able to restart delayed fieldwork.
As unprecedented rainfall continues to delay or prohibit planting progress in many areas, Michigan farmers are looking at their next best option — including filing for Prevented Plantings as the June 15 plant date for soybeans gets closer
If you opt to take or are forced to take the prevent plant option, WinField United’s agronomy team provides these helpful tips:
- Don’t abandon management on non-planted fields
If planting isn’t an option, don’t give up on field management. Once the water recedes, the first thing you’ll want to do is consider weed control options. In many situations, a burndown herbicide application of 2, 4-D and glyphosate plus appropriate adjuvants can help clean up fields. In the absence of a growing crop, it will be critical to maintaining weed control throughout the season. If weeds are allowed to go to seed, all of the efforts you’ve put into having clean fields can be lost in just one season.
- Consider crop plan alternatives if you’re still able to plant
In some cases, it may be more economical to switch up your cropping plan rather than abandon planting altogether. For example, it could make sense to plant an earlier maturing hybrid or to plant soybeans instead of corn. As you weigh those decisions, be sure to consult your local agronomist or retailer to weigh the pros and cons of each option.
- Make weed control a priority and adjust plans if necessary
Since burndown and pre-emergence herbicide applications may not have been made, in-season weed control becomes critical to avoid future problems. A strong post-emergence program that includes residual products will offer the best protection against weeds. If you’ve planted Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, you may not meet in-season dicamba application deadlines if planting was delayed. In that case, you’ll need to work with your agronomist to come up with effective alternatives for weed control.
- Understand how flooding impacts plant nutrition and make amendments
There are multiple ways plant nutrition can be affected by saturated soils. First, microbial activity in the soil is limited under flooded conditions, resulting in a slower release of nutrients to plants. At the same time, flooded soils can lose nitrogen, either through denitrification or leaching. Finally, saturated soils may temporarily become oxygen deprived, causing problems for root growth and development. One of the direct consequences of poor root health due to anaerobic soil conditions is that the plants won’t take up nutrients as effectively as they would in more aerated, less saturated soils.
While there isn’t much you can do to remove excess moisture from fields, tissue testing can help you understand how well nutrients are getting to plants after flooding occurs. That can help influence in-season nutrient applications you’ll need to make to maintain adequate plant nutrition.
- Find ways to improve efficiencies
If you’re faced with a condensed window of time to get things done, look for ways to improve efficiency. For example, agriculture technology tools including the R7® Field Monitoring Tool and R7 Field Forecasting Tool can keep an eye on your fields and alert you to potential in-season problems. These tools can help you prioritize field management decisions and focus your dollars where they’re most likely to earn you the highest return on investment potential.
- Use challenges to fine-tune 2020 planning
We all wish circumstances were different this year. But since we’ve been handed these challenges, it’s a good opportunity to reevaluate your operation and find ways to help mitigate wet season challenges for the future. For farmers who live in areas where flooding or heavy spring rains are expected, seed and seed treatment selection become very important. There are certain corn hybrids that are more tolerant of saturated soils than other hybrids.
- Don’t give up
You don’t have to navigate the questions and challenges of this season alone. Open communication with your trusted agronomists and retail partners can help you identify appropriate responses to the ever-changing environment. We’re here to help you succeed as best you can this season. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer for the support this season.
For information and coverage of Prevented Plant click here....