For many of us farmers, it seems like the hits just keep coming this year. If it’s not the weather, it’s crop reports that seem contradictory to our intuition. Although a leisurely country drive now shows many of the late planted fields as lush green, the imagery from above is still not very impressive. Nitrogen deficiency and compaction are now showing their ugly heads as the sins of the season begin to be revealed. There might not be much you can do about the compaction problems at this time, but there is still time to manage your nitrogen. Watch your ADVI and NDVI images for signs of yellowing corn — which will show up as yellow, red, or white in the imagery. There are a lot of fields that are showing these problems, and it’s not too late to respond.
Although my Grandpa passed away back when I was finishing high school, his words have been ringing in my ears over the past several weeks as I watched our flood conditions quickly change to drought. He would always say, “A dry spell always follows a wet spell, and a wet spell always follows a dry spell.” Although this may seem overly simple, he seemed to be nearly always right. The double-whammy from this year is that none of the plants rooted very well, so it didn’t take much for the crop to begin to show drought stress (as I mentioned in my last newsletter). Although some of us may have caught a little rain recently, continue to watch those thermal images for signs of stress and manage your irrigation accordingly. We are also seeing quite a bit of spider mite damage and disease progression. Remember to be on the lookout for those sharply-contouring areas in the thermals, as they will guide you to the areas of insect trouble. Conversely, disease will manifest itself as more of a wavy pattern. This year, don’t be surprised to find both. Once again, always start out by studying your visual picture first. Then look to your thermal images for detecting water, disease, and insect pressure.
Remember to revisit instructions on how to use the yield estimator tool included free from within the AirScout platform. I am especially proud of this little gadget, as it was part of our latest patent issued a few months ago. Please continue to enjoy this benefit and use it to enhance your marketing strategy.
Thanks again for spending time with me, and I’ll be back in touch soon!