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July 17, 2023

[Interview] Taking a Bite Out of Drought & Heat Stress

Posted by Agricen

Wity-radio-down on farmWith dry, hot weather having impacted many areas of the country, Agricen's Scott Lay spoke with Dennis Michelsen of WITY Radio to discuss how Terramar is helping corn and soybean growers minimize the effect of drought and heat stress on their crops.

Dennis - WITY Radio: After a long duration of dry weather that we had during this growing season, we're getting a great chance to see just how much Terramar is helping reduce some of that drought stress we saw.

Scott - Agricen: Terramar is a new product to the Midwest and row crops. More importantly, it's a new practice. We now have a technology available to us in our arsenal that will help minimize stress.

Dennis - WITY Radio: This product is all about standing up to stress.

Scott - Agricen: We know that if the nighttime low does not get below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, that's a bad day for the corn plant. That impacts yield. We also know from our replicated studies with Terramar that we're able to decrease the crop canopy temperature by a measure of three to five degrees Fahrenheit for a period of three to four weeks. Again, that's not going to eliminate the negative impact of extremely hot temperatures, but it sure takes a bite out of it.

Dennis - WITY Radio: How is Terramar working on soybeans this year across the Midwest?

Scott - Agricen: Regardless of zip code and regardless of crop, minimizing heat and drought stress while increasing the amount of nutrients that the carbon component in Terramar can bring into that plant is a good transaction.

With respect to soybeans specifically, we're entering a critical stage, and that is the reproductive stages. That's when 90% of all nutrients are consumed by the plant. That's when yield is determined.

Again, we can't control what Mother Nature brings our way in terms of precipitation, but if we can increase the amount of nutrients flowing into that plant by virtue of stimulating that plant with our Terramar product, we've got a better chance to preserve yield potential.

Dennis - WITY Radio: Whether it's corn or soybeans, Scott, you guys have done a lot of testing of this product on acres that, quite frankly, are more susceptible to drought than we usually see here in Central Illinois.

Scott - Agricen: When we started to look at this on crops in tough growing conditions, like grain sorghum and dryland corn in western Kansas early on, we started to detect not only a positive yield impact, but also better plant health that maintained throughout the growing season. We knew at that point that we needed to get this more widely across the Midwest in corn and soybean growing areas. As a result, this year we'll approach about 2.5 million acres treated with Terramar.

Dennis - WITY Radio: I understand this product is working good as a tank mix companion with a lot of different materials, whether early in the season as you're doing an extra fertilizer run or when you're applying a fungicide. 

Scott - Agricen: That’s correct. As we look out over the month of July, any farmer of corn, soybeans or cotton is looking to preserve yield potential. Fungicides are a key part of that equation.

We're able to pair Terramar with fungicide and see a favorable impact in terms of minimizing the effect of drought and heat, which is a result of the kelp component, while also pulling more nutrients into that plant as a result of the carbon component.

Plants enjoy carbon and, when in abundant supply, it provides needed energy to produce a more robust root system that is able to pull more water and nutrients into the plant. That often leads to a more consistent yield result.

Dennis - WITY Radio: Whether it's corn or soybeans, Terramar can help you stand up to stress.

Terramar is available from Nutrien Ag Solutions.

This interview was edited for length and clarity. You can listen to the interview below or on Agricen's YouTube channel.

Learn more about Terramar by downloading the Terramar product booklet.

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Topics: Soybeans, Corn, Abiotic stress, Terramar