The month of June has been hot across many locations in Kansas. The combination of heat and drought stress during certain growth stages in corn can be problematic. Read more from Cropping Specialist Ignacio Ciampitti and the Kansas Climate team.
Drought-stressed crops such as corn and sorghum tend to accumulate high levels of nitrate in the lower leaves and stalk of the plant. It is wise for producers to test their drought-stricken forage prior to harvest.
Where dryland corn has been under severe drought or heat stress, producers have to decide whether to leave it and harvest for grain, salvage the crop for silage or hay, or leave the crop in the field for its residue value. Learn more about each of these options in this article.
Many farmers across Kansas must make a decision on how to get the most from their drought-damaged corn this year. A number of factors should be considered when assigning a value to drought-damaged corn. Nutrient removal from the field is one key aspect since biomass can export significant amounts of nutrients.
Drought-stressed crops such as corn and sorghum tend to accumulate high nitrate levels in the lower leaves and stalk of the plant. Nitrates accumulate when stresses reduce crop yields. Farmers should test their drought-stricken forage prior to harvest. High levels of nitrate can be toxic when fed to livestock.
The July heatwave came at a particularly critical period for the Kansas corn crop this year. Heat stress will have more of an impact on corn during the reproductive stage of growth when combined with drought stress. Stress conditions were very severe in parts of central, south central, and southeast Kansas.
Dryland corn in many parts of western KS is struggling. Elevated levels of nitrates are a common concern with drought-stressed plants. This article discusses the best options for these corn fields. Failed dryland corn may fill a gap for livestock producers with limited forage options. Testing prior to feeding will be particularly important.
Dryland soybean fields have started to experience heat stress combined with long periods without rainfall. This article reviews potential symptoms of drought and heat stress on soybeans. Producers should scout their fields for signs of stress in order to make timely decisions as the growing season progresses.