Don't let a dry April slow crop growth

Farming Monthly National|May 2020

Don't let a dry April slow crop growth
Soil nutrition matters more than ever.

There is a saying that many farmers will be familiar with: wet soils make crops lazy. As you would expect, this is not a scientific fact, but there is some truth to it. Following record levels of rainfall over winter, we have recently been confronted with an especially dry March and April. Soil moisture is suddenly a huge problem for many farmers dealing with their spring crops. How is this possible so soon after a prolonged period of wet weather?

The truth is that heavy rainfall causes shallow root systems. Deep roots die in anaerobic conditions. As an industry, the weather often catches us by surprise. However, if you look at the data, current conditions are actually in line with expectations – it's merely our attitude that might require shifting.

Past trends – why do April droughts catch us by surprise?

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May 2020