Drought Concerns Ahead Of The 2021 Planting Season

Teal Mills, Southern Product Agronomist
March 15, 2021

Every year, producers gear up for planting facing different challenges. No matter the challenge, they answer the call and work through whatever mother nature throws at them. This year, Kansas and a good portion of the Hoegemeyer footprint are in abnormally dry – extreme drought conditions. For most producers in western Kansas, Nebraska, western Iowa and eastern Colorado this isn’t a change. We still have spring and the rain it can bring ahead of planting, but there are some management tactics producers can take to help conserve soil moisture.



Reducing Tillage (No-till, strip till, etc)  

  • Reducing tillage can have several benefits for soil when producers are wanting to try and preserve soil moisture.
  • Soil structure is changed when tillage occurs. In reduced-no till situations macropores from roots and other soil organisms cause large pores for water to infiltrate into the soil profile better.
  • Residues on the surface cause water runoff from large rain events to significantly decrease by slowing the rate of water runoff.
  • Residues on soil surface also cause less temperature fluctuations in soil. No-till fields tend to stay cooler than conventional tilled fields and have lower evaporation rates.

Weed control

  • Weeds compete with crops for many resources (nutrients, light, space, and water). In areas where annual rainfall isn’t enough to raise a corn crop, managing weeds can help producers conserve both water and nutrients.
  • Research conducted in Texas panhandle showed that weeds at a density of 4 weeds per square foot could use 0.3 – 1.1 inches of water/week.
  • Hoegemeyer offers Enlist E3®soybeans and corn for producers to have a range of herbicide tolerant trait options to control weed species. Take a look at a previous blogs on Enlist E3® corn and soybeans.

Hoegemeyer brand Optimum® AQUAmax® product lineup

  • Hoegemeyer brand Optimum® AQUAmax® products are tested across drought prone locations throughout the US. These locations evaluate drought response in corn throughout the growing season.
  • We offer Hoegemeyer brand Optimum® AQUAmax®  products ranging from 100-114 RM that perform on dryland and limited irrigation acres in western Kansas, Nebraska and eastern Colorado.  
  • These products have a strong track record on drought prone soils. We also have products that are one point below the Hoegemeyer brand Optimum® AQUAmax® products rating that still do well on limited irrigation acres in the arid western portion of the footprint.

Sorghum lineup

  • Hoegemeyer’s sorghum lineup has good options for drought prone soils. One that has stood out in 2020 growing season is H6020 (62 days to half bloom and 102 RM). It is a red grain color and has a strong track record of yield on drought prone acres from Kansas up to South Dakota. It also placed top of the plot in eastern Colorado at the ColoradoStateSorghumTrial.
  • A product that has a good fit for limited irrigation acres is H6064 (64 days to half bloom and 109 RM). This product placed top in a dealer’s plot near Syracuse Kansas, see the results here

If you have further questions about any of the trait packages discussed or more questions about products mentioned reach out to your local Hoegemeyer DSM or agronomist.