“Drought” Implications are Top of Mind This Week

The only snow left in North Central Iowa is in the ditches or lining dry creek beds – just one more reminder that the Midwest still suffers from drought.  Here’s an excerpt from “crop comments” posted yesterday to agweb.com:

1/15 – Lancaster County, Nebraska: Still dry with a little moisture in the top foot from 1ft to 6ft not any moisture. We will need some terrific rain events this spring to recharge subsoil, one of those events were you get 1/4 to 1/2 inch every day for 2 weeks (like that ever happens?)

1/15 – Palo Alto County, Iowa: First year I can recall without any ice in the drainage ditches in the area. We have had a little snow and maybe a tenth of an inch of rain a few days ago. Never gone into spring as dry as we are right now. If this is a sign of what’s to come this next growing season id be crazy to sell the remainder of the 2012 crop and even consider selling for 2013. Lots of new irrigation equipment being put up this winter even in areas where on a normal year it’s not necessary.

1/9 – Trempealeau, Wisconsin: If the Mississippi level any is an indicator of potential yield with average moisture, certainly areas that depend on subsoil moisture to get average crop will suffer. It seems to me that we will need an inordinate amount of moisture to compensate to get yield up to average, but what is average?

Drought-related topics also grabbed the attention of farmers attending the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting last Sunday in Nashville.  During that meeting, a representative from Monsanto talked in details about the 2013 introduction of Genuity® DroughtGard TM hybrids in western states like Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

Since it will be another year or two before farmers in the Upper Midwest will be able to purchase DroughtGard hybrids, there are steps you can take to help conserve soil moisture and a few things to consider when choosing seed for 2013 planting.  Click on the articles below for additional resources: