Don't Let the Rain Wash Away Your Profits

June 13, 2013 11:51 AM

Wet weather brings its own set of agronomic concerns—and those can cut into your profits. Margins expert Chris Barron explains.

It's no secret that in much of the Corn Belt, it's been a wet spring. With wet weather making it difficult for farmers to get in the fields, planting dates have been all over the calendar.

Having such a variance in planting dates means that farmers need to be ready for a lot of different situations this year, says Chris Barron, Iowa farmer and AgWeb margins expert.

Barron recently held a meeting on his farm to address questions that area farmers had about late planting. One of the key topics of discussion was agronomic issues.

Watch Out for N Loss

The biggest agronomic concern in wet weather, says Barron, is probably nitrogen loss. In periods of repeated rainy weather, fields can lose nitrogen at a rate of up to 3% per day. And that, Barron notes, can quickly add up to dollars.

"We really need to be thinking about that," Barron says. "We're going to have to add to our cost of production."

Download a corn nitrogren rate calculator.

Get the most out of nitrogen.

In corn, a major disease concern in wet weather is Pythium. Scouting is key to making sure you catch problem areas before it's too late.

"If you see some stands that look like they're a little light, just do a little digging and see what the roots are like," Barron says.

For soybeans, producers should keep sudden death syndrome on their radar this year. The syndrome tends to break out during periods of heavy rain.

"There's going to be some big yield 'watch-outs' potentially on the soybean side," Barron says.

Identify diseases in your crops.

Get scouting tips.

Find an Extension specialist.


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