Rainfall.  How Much is Too Much?

We all know that we need the right amount of rainfall at the right time to grow a successful crop.  However, how much is too much?  The average amount of rainfall for April and May is 4-6 inches for Central Minnesota.  Soil with a limited water holding capacity (i.e. a sandy loam) reaches the saturation point much sooner than a soil with a higher water holding capacity (i.e. a clay loam). After a soil is saturated with water, all the excess water and some of the nutrients and pesticides that are in the soil solution are leached downward in the soil profile.

Nitrogen is a vital nutrient that may be susceptible to loss which could negatively impact yield.  Risk of nitrogen loss from spring rains is measured by the amount of time it takes from N to convert from ammonium to leachable nitrate-N (which is driven strongly by temperature and moisture). How are you going to avoid the yield penalties of N deficiency this year? Here’s a few ideas for action strategies:

  1. Reference Hybrid RTN Scores to quantify the potential yield loss risk.
  2. Take a Soil and Tissue test to identify your soil and plant nutrient status.
  3. Use a crop model like WinField United’s Field Forecasting Tool to identify the impact of a future application and possible return on an application.
Contact your Centra Sota Crop Advisor to learn more.
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