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The trouble with too much rain

With over six inches of rain in the past month in many parts of the Upper Midwest, farmers are enduring one of the wettest springs in years. Standing water, washout and hail damage have affected many areas. Some farmers have had to face replanting while others, with standing water, are concerned about the nitrogen that was lost. The big question is: how will the heavy rainfall affect yields?

According to Brad Weber, an account manager for Pioneer, loss of nitrogen and replanting are the two primary areas of concern. He says, “The heavy rain impacted a lot of areas where the water caused a loss of nitrogen from having saturated soils for an extended period of time. Also, anywhere with washout, or low-lying areas, may need to be replanted.”

To replace the nitrogen that was potentially lost from standing water, Weber says, “Farmers can possibly do some rescue treatments with side-dressing by later applying nitrogen.” Also, while replanting is a viable option, Weber says its effect on yields depends greatly on the weather. “With replanting, your total yield potential is less but, in general, it will depend a lot on the weather. We can still have a pretty good crop if we get it planted within the next couple weeks and the weather cooperates.”

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