To-do list for flooded fields

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Flood Excessive rainfall and flooding has many South Dakota crop producers concerned about the future of their crops.  SDSU Extension is here to help, explained Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist.

"With some areas of southeast South Dakota experiencing the wettest month on record with upwards of 12.97 inches of rain in only 16 days, many fields sit under water," Bly said.

As the flood waters recede and things get back to normal, Bly and his agronomy colleagues compiled a list of items farmers should consider:

Contact crop insurance agent for first assessments of options within 72 hours.  Alert your agent to possible losses by unit and begin determining the potential to replant or other options.

Evaluate crop survivability after flood waters recede. Corn at sixth leaf has 24-hour limit under 6-inches of water with air temperatures greater than 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Soybeans have better survivability (4-6 days) compared with corn. Crop leaves covered with soil will have reduced growth until the soil is washed off.

Evaluate soil crusting after flood waters recede.  Crusted soils inhibit beneficial air and water exchange.  Cultivation of conventionally tilled soils could improve crop condition. Flooded no-till soils should be ok.

Soil biological life can withstand short term flooding of up to 5 weeks.

Scout affected crops for root rots (Corn-phythium, Soybeans phytophthora and phythium).

Monitor weed flushes as very good growth conditions will exist after flood waters recede.  Post applied weed control applications will be very effective due to optimal growing conditions.

Watch corn fields for nitrogen deficiency symptoms. Nitrate leaching and denitrification could have occurred. Consider soil sampling for determining soil N levels.

Consider late planting date yield reductions if soybeans are replanted.

Use cover crops on crop loss areas and fields to avoid fallow syndrome effects next year.

View additional information on our Flooding page.

Source: SDSU iGrow



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