As farmers, we know how fast the weather can swing from being too dry to too wet, and vice versa. This year is shaping up to be no different. That being said, it’s still our job to manage this to the best of our abilities. With the heavy rains from the past week in several areas of the corn belt, I expect the imagery to begin showing nitrogen deficiencies within the next few weeks. Regardless of how much nitrogen you may have applied in the spring, there’s not going to be much left in those areas that are now ponding water.
As a farmer, it’s now your decision to accept this loss, or react to it. If the water comes off these fields soon, a rescue treatment of nitrogen could pay big dividends. Watch your visual and ADVI imagery for any signs of yellowing, and respond as quickly as possible. Your pictures will tell you exactly where to go. If you are already applying nitrogen in accordance with our “Hindsight” program and the “Fat Kids” picture from a few weeks ago, you have nothing to worry about — as these types of changing conditions make it shine the brightest.
If you are on the other end of the scale and are needing to irrigate, watch your thermal images closely and beware of hot spots showing up that may be indicating drought stress. We give you the tool to take it one step further and build a prescription irrigation map based on the image. Using this tool, you have the opportunity to direct the pivot to speed up or slow down in one degree slices. This enables you to get the right amount of water to the right places with nothing wasted — and nothing over-watered.
Regardless of what we do as farmers, and with all of our best intentions, water will always be the biggest driving factor in determining yield. The better we understand the unique characteristics of each field and how it handles water, the better we will be able to manage the curve balls mother nature throws at us.
If you need some help with any of this, or want to “Hire our Hagie” to do some Y Drop work yet this season, please get in touch. Our “AirScout Edition” Hagie is capable of applying two different products at once, so we can actually apply a foliar feed/fungicide into the canopy while dribbling the nitrogen out on the ground. This is just one more way we strive to become more efficient as farmers.