Weather Woes

Missouri and the southeast U.S. have seen too much precipitation since Christmas. Whether it’s ice, snow, or rain, Mother Nature has been relentless and made field work nearly impossible; the harvest is delayed in some areas, and many acres are still waiting to be sampled. Some areas have had short windows of decent weather (some folks in the Missouri Bootheel have been able to start topdressing wheat after their last hard freeze), but overall my area has been struggling this winter, and the weather forecasts suggest that we aren’t in the clear.

In the Southeast, delayed harvest and a wet winter may potentially cause some growers to switch crop options. Some estimates say that cotton acres will be up in 2019. Soybeans acres may decrease, corn is a wash (maybe a slight increase in acres), and some growers may add rice. Field prep has been and looked like it will continue to be an issue. One positive note, across the board most folks are seeing the value of soil fertility.

Meeting Season

Two things will remain constant in life – taxes, and the fact that in the winter we are up to our necks in meetings, tradeshows, and conferences. Over the past couple months, I’ve attended conferences and meetings in Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, and Arkansas; there’s been lots of conversation happening around dicamba regulations, Palmer Amaranth control, and a larger emphasis on soil health. Additional research was presented on row rice, soil moisture monitoring, and upcoming cotton and peanut varieties.

In my conversations with clients, we have discussed soil health testing, sap analysis, and interpreting soils reports. In the mid-South, we’ve discussed irrigation water testing, pH testing for spray water, and sending tissue samples during the growing season. There have also been questions around spring soil sampling; if you were unable to soil sample this fall due to unfavorable weather or delayed harvest, you can still pull soil samples this spring and get valuable data for fall fertilizer applications. Be on the lookout from more information from Midwest Laboratories regarding spring soil testing.

Looking Forward

While it feels like we’re stuck in an eternal winter prison, planting time will be here before we know it. Hopefully, growers had a chance to line out lease agreements with their landlords.  It’s best to get a plan together for fields that still need to be sampled and fertilized. Once that crop is planted and growing, we’ll be looking forward to PSNT and plant tissue samples. If you’re bringing on interns or temporary help for the spring and summer, check out our resource library for sampling guides and information regarding sample submittal and results interpretation; brochures can be emailed or downloaded and printed for distribution.

For more information regarding soil testing please reach out to TaylorAnn Washburn at 402.999.6611 or twashburn@midwestlabs.com

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