Working Through the Challenges

Dec 26, 2022

Agronomists and growers share mutual trust
There was a wide range of challenges and stressors in 2022, according to Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager, and the difference in what growers had to deal with was often related to geography. Rains were adequate in the northern parts of Federated’s service area, but moisture was lacking in the western and southern sections.
For those with heavier soils, the rain or lack thereof wasn’t as troublesome as for those with lighter or medium textured soils. “But one thing we can't control is soil type,” said Carlson. Thus, “you have to do a lot of things right to reduce the stress as much as possible.”
2022 saw every factor coming in to play. If there was anything going on in the field – compaction, late planting, improper pH, nutrient deficiency – the stressors were magnified. Yet, “we saw surprisingly good yields, including from those with little moisture,” Carlson said. The crops came through, and hybrid and variety improvements may be responsible in part. Ultimately, good crop management is the key.
Potassium (K) deficient crops were more prevalent this past year “than any year in my career thus far,” said Carlson. That may be an anomaly, or it may be a real concern. Either way, “doing the fundamentals is important,” he said. As a macro nutrient, K is required in large amounts; it helps with drought stress. “Managing critical soil test values can help guard against multiple stresses,” he said.
Commodity prices continue to be strong, and input prices have softened “a little bit,” Carlson said. Persisting with soil testing and well-planned crop inputs will reap the return on investment that growers need. Sometimes it’s a newer option, too, such as using biologicals. “There’s a fit there, with biologicals, to manage stress,” he said.
Overall, 2022 turned out better than many expected considering the stress crops experienced in one way or another. As thoughts turn toward another season, Carlson said, “Thanks for trusting us and for doing business with Federated in 2022 … we are here to help you find the best returns on your crop investments in 2023.”
Give your Federated Agronomist a call soon to talk about your upcoming crop management plans.

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