Seed Selection is Even More Critical in Dry Years

The Iowa Legislature convened last week, and along with that, came talk that Iowa’s drought law may get a closer look this year.  “Water restrictions” isn’t a typical topic of conversation in the north, but it looks as though it might become commonplace across the Upper Midwest in 2013 if weather patterns don’t change.

It’s safe to say we’ll be planting the 2013 crop in dry soils.  The 2012 drought caused most soils here to be depleted of moisture in the upper 7 to 8 feet, so it will take at least two growing seasons to recharge those soils.

Seed selection will certainly be critical for 2013 due to the extremely dry conditions.  That’s why we’re recommending that most of our corn customers plant hybrids at least double- or triple-stack hybrids this spring.

A hybrid’s genetics will be the biggest factor in whether a hybrid can handle drought.  Plot data shows that multiple-trait stacks, like Latham® hybrids with the Genuity® SmartStax® technology, can really help protect yield.  REMEMBER:  Traits protect yield.  Genetics make yield.  Seed products carrying the Latham brand name combine the industry’s best genetics with the latest traits and technologies.

While corn genetics have come a long ways over the past decade and are much better at handling drought stress than ever, soybeans historically perform even better in dry weather.  Farmers will need to consider whether they can manage corn-on-corn in another extremely dry year or whether the economics favor soybeans.  Other factors to consider when finalizing your 2013 crop plans are outlined in this recent article posted on Six Take-Home Lessons from the 2012 Drought.

Regardless of whether you choose to plant corn, soybeans or alfalfa, Latham has the products you need! Our seed portfolio contains products that were bred specifically to thrive in specific areas of the Upper Midwest. Call your local Latham rep to learn more about the products best suited for your growing conditions, or feel free to call our office directly at 1.877.GO.LATHAM (1.877.465.2842).