Should You Plan Ahead for More Severe Drought Conditions?

Should You Plan Ahead for More Severe Drought Conditions?

Corryn La Rue
Corryn La Rue
Western producers face a heavy burden this fall as they consider the weight of fuel prices, supply chain issues, inflation, drought, and so much more.

A recent Pioneer poll shows that more than half of corn farmers say they’re dealing with moderate to severe drought stress this season.

While only rain can change fortunes at this point, planning for next year can help ensure fields are more resilient. Dan Berning, Pioneer Agronomy Manager for the Western Commercial Unit, joins us to explain how you can do that.

“Those tactics are going to include things like preserving soil moisture with tillage and residue management considerations that strive to keep that soil moisture preserved as best we can. Good soil fertility and crop nutrient management, especially potassium, can have an impact on how well that plant can deal with drought stress. And then obviously we want to do everything we can to relieve other stresses and protect that plant from things like diseases or insects or weed competition that could impose additional stresses to the crop.”

Berning adds another consideration is the growth stage of the plant when the drought stress occurs.

“A number of research studies have shown that the most detrimental window of drought stress occurs during the flowering window, or while pollinating, and even into the early kernel set. When it happens right at that stage under those tough conditions, we can see 50 percent yield loss quite regularly.”

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