As growers across Canada and the U.S. start, finish, or are right in the middle harvest season, ESN Marketing Representative Alan Gerber provides an update of what he is seeing in his territory. Continue reading to learn what weather conditions, challenges and opportunities farmers are facing in the Southern U.S. (TX, OK, NM, KS, AR, LA, MS, AL, and W. TN).
Question: What are the current weather conditions in your area?
Answer: Early September has brought cooler temperatures to start out the month. Western portions of the geography (TX, NM, KS, OK) have experienced record setting heat throughout a good portion of the summer so the cooler weather has been refreshing. Unfortunately, precipitation has been spotty at best in this same area causing the already persistent drought to strengthen. Eastern portions of the geography started out the growing season with adequate to excessive precipitation, causing some areas to experience planting delays. Areas in this region have started to dry out as we approach fall. Hurricane Laura brought heavy rainfall and flooding into the lower Mississippi River Valley; however, most weather experts see strong indications of a La Nina weather pattern which typically does not bode well for the southern region.
Q: How much harvest progress are you seeing so far?
A: Corn harvest is on the tail end in southern parts of the territory, whereas moving north we are a few weeks into the season. Once done with corn, attention will switch to cotton and other crops. Harvest has been a little earlier than normal this season due to warmer temperatures causing both quicker crop progression and dry down times.
Q: How are yields looking so far?
A: Generally speaking, yields are looking good. The previously mentioned record heat certainly caused problems in the western regions. This coupled with drought has limited dryland production. Provided growers could stay ahead on irrigation, most of these acres are turning out good.
Q: What challenges did growers face this year?
A: Like every year, the volatility of Mother Nature and time management. We have had the opportunity to follow up with several growers in-season to discuss the benefits of using ESN to help resolve both issues. The number one response I have heard from growers is that ESN has freed up more time for them to be doing other things.
Q: What are the benefits of a fall ESN application?
A: Regardless of if you are applying ESN for a winter or spring crop, ESN allows growers to spread their workload out through a few more months of the year while providing peace of mind that their nitrogen investment will be there and readily available when needed. This creates less stress come springtime, again whether we are talking spring crops and planting season, or winter crops and optimal top dress application windows. Growers can also take advantage of fall fertilizer pricing vs. what they would expect to see in-season.
Q: Which geographies/growing conditions are suited for a post-harvest, fall application of ESN?
A: Ideally, fall-applied ESN is best suited for areas with cooler, drier climates that are typically less susceptible to nitrogen loss. Because of that, fall-applied ESN for spring crops is not something we promote in the southern region; however, there is great potential for winter crops such as winter wheat. ESN allows growers to be more efficient with fall-applied nitrogen (preferred pre-plant incorporated or seed placed) and affords them a larger top dress application window come spring.
How is your harvest season going? Are you in a geography suited for fall fertilizer application? Comment below and tell us!