Following on the heels of two years’ worth of record setting crop yields, pressure is at an all-time high for growers this year. What trends in agriculture can we expect to see, and what can growers do to ensure the best possible outcome in 2016?
A Transition to La Niña?
Weather patterns La Niña and El Niño can have a profound impact on the outcome of a growing season. With El Niño events regularly outnumbering La Niña, climatologists are unsure whether 2016 will see a transition. La Niña conditions often bring less precipitation and a reversing of annual weather patterns with a cooler than average Northern climate and warmer than average weather in the South and Midwest. Thankfully, widespread rainfall this past December and January should set the stage for good early season moisture and planting conditions going into this year’s crop.
Shift Toward Soybeans
With recent commodity price adjustments, many growers may be looking to shift to soybeans in 2016. Combining lower average seasonal water usage than corn with a better ability to withstand late-season drought conditions from a possible La Niña event, soybeans show strong potential this year. Programs to reduce plant stress and optimize yield potential throughout the season, like the recently introduced ‘Soybean StartUp Program,’ can ensure growers start off with a strong footing.
To Protect and Conserve
Iowa lawmakers have named conservation their top agenda item for 2016. In partnership with the USDA, state focus will shift toward a “watershed based strategy” for nutrient management. Soon, incorporation of sustainable programs and practices will be a mandatory standard for most grower operations. Innovations in plant health and nutrition will be key to meeting these new standards. See Agricen’s “Growing for the Future” whitepaper to learn more about the efforts we’re making to support sustainable practices.
As every grower knows, each season presents is own set of challenges and opportunities. Weather and a grower's crop plan and practices are always important considerations, but the year frequently develops differently than the best laid plans can anticipate. We wish you the best of luck this growing season, and be sure to let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your program.
Will you be growing soybeans this year? Find out how a Soybean StartUp program can help you improve plant performance and productivity.