Best Management Practices for Drought

Dry growing conditions in 2012 are prompting questions this fall about soil fertility, herbicide carryover and seed product selection. Implementing best management practices this fall will help reduce stress for crops next spring.

Conserve Soil Moisture
When soils are dry, farmers must conserve remaining moisture. This may mean holding off on disking and cultivating, so as not to let moisture escape in the process. Keeping the harvested crop’s residue on the ground’s surface also will help conserve soil moisture.

Test for Herbicide Carryover
Herbicide breakdown may be slowed greatly in drought conditions. The best time to test for carryover is between late October and mid-November. By this time, soil temperatures remain below 50° F – a point at which herbicide breakdown is minimal. If you take residue samples before this time, herbicide levels could be greater than those that will be present at the time of 2013 planting.

Select Seed Products
Since dry conditions could increase the chances of herbicide carryover, farmers may want to select seed for 2013 with greater tolerance to the herbicide used during the 2012 drought year. Another option might be to alter your crop rotation to avoid planting a crop susceptible to the herbicide used.

Whether you want to plant corn, soybeans or alfalfa – Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® or LiberyLink®, SmartStax® RIB Complete, Herculex® XTRA or Agrisure® GT – Latham Hi-Tech Seeds has the products and our trait packages to fit your needs. Call your local Latham® rep or 1-877-GO-LATHAM (1-877-465-2842). The time is now to plan for the 2013 growing season!