Some late winter planting season considerations from Purdue extension specialists include stay the course and don’t make dramatic changes because of last year. Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen says there was a lot learned in 2012.
“We learned how severely soil compaction can aggravate a drought so it certainly means we should take steps to either alleviate or avoid compaction in the future,” he told HAT. “We saw that hybrids certainly varied on how they responded to the drought but we shouldn’t dwell simply on their drought tolerance characteristics. We need to make sure that we choose hybrids that tolerate a wide range of growing conditions because you and I can’t predict what next summer is going to be, we just know it’s going to be different and it’s going to be extreme. It could be the wettest year on record for all we know, so we need to continue choosing hybrids that do well no matter what conditions they face, and I think that was just reinforced from last year.”
Most importantly though is to stick to sound agronomics and Nielsen suggests particular attention should be given to developing a strong, vigorous crop early in the season so it can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it.
Following the drought soil sample results can be “squirrely,” but sampling this spring might be a good idea.
“My hindsight advice would have been let’s not do some of the soil testing we did last fall when it was still so dry. Now that much of the state has recharged a fair amount this coming spring might actually be a good time to pull some soil samples because the soil is, I won’t say it’s completely back to normal condition, but we’re probably in a little better position to pull samples this coming spring. But if that’s not in your plans or it just doesn’t work out in your farming operation then that’s where I would say let’s just sort of stick to the plan already developed a year ago or so and just keep moving forward.”
“That drought stressed corn didn’t take up as much potassium and phosphorous so as far as the fertility I think we could be setting up pretty well, really quite well in a lot of cases for these beans. The one you might consider with these drought stressed soils is thinking about the nitrogen itself and whether to bring an inoculant into the situation.”
Casteel says the inoculants should be helpful if you’ve been out of beans for 2 or 3 years and have drought stress soils or lower organic matter.
HAT spoke with both Purdue specialists at the February Indiana Livestock Forage and Grain Forum. Listen to Nielsen:Bob Nielsen at IN forum
Listen to Casteel:Shaun Casteel at IN forum 13