We had a wet start to the planting season, and it turned into an extremely wet early growing season. In just one week, we had nearly 20 inches of rain in my area of western Missouri. No matter how excellent our soil structure and nutrition are, and no matter what type of increased management we do for our fields, it is nearly impossible to be successful with that type of moisture coming down all at once.
I have many of my fields sitting with surface water a few inches deep. And if there is anything we have learned about soybeans over the last two decades, it is that soybeans do not like wet feet. It will be a few weeks before we see what the long-term damage will be to those overly wet fields.
Looking at some of the bright spots on our farm, we do have more than enough moisture for some of our higher ground to flourish, and both my corn and soybeans in those fields are looking very strong – deep green in color and consistent canopies across the fields. We continue to invest in tissue sampling regularly to see how the excess moisture is affecting nutrient uptake.
Excessive moisture can be problematic for AMS applications. Both sulfur and nitrogen are mobile nutrients, and heavy rains can drive the nutrients deep into the soil to a level where the root systems cannot reach them. As we continue to do our tissue sampling over the next few weeks, we will know if our spring AMS application was lost to the rains or if the nutrients are still available for our soybeans to flourish.