Irrigation is a great way to maintain ideal soil moisture throughout the growing season. But it's not a silver bullet. Cory Gilbert, independent crop consultant with On Target Ag Solutions explains why.
My big concern this year, and we’re already seeing it, is people turning on their irrigation too soon, which could inhibit growth.
Corn plants are lazy, and will pull water from wherever is easiest. If in the first week of dry weather you turn on the water, and you don’t make that corn search for moisture, it won’t develop the healthiest root system.
Moisture sensors can help a lot. If you have sensors, make sure you’re getting the assistance you might need in deciphering the data they give you; it can be tough to translate all the information into actionable advice. If you don’t have sensors, walk your fields and use a soil probe to look at your moisture profile.
Whatever kind of technology you use or don’t use, just turning off the switch and walking away for the summer is never the best option.