As farmers, we have a lot of decisions to make when growing a crop. That’s why many growers develop a cropping plan 6-8 months before the production season ever starts. It allows those farmers to simply follow the plan without having to make decisions on the growing crop during the season. The problem is, variable weather conditions such as drought can cause farmers to second-guess their cropping plan. When the crop begins to show stress during times of hot weather and moisture shortages, some growers want to deviate from the plan and stop investing in their crop.
A great example of this is the thought of eliminating a fungicide, nitrogen, or micronutrient application during very dry weather. Each of those elements increases the plants ability to stay healthy, grow at its normal pace and continue to seek out hard to find moisture. Plants need support during those times, not punishment. That’s why farmers should never consider altering the plan unless the crop is totally burned up.
Fungicides, nitrogen, and micronutrients all work as antibiotics for stalk rot and drought. Cutting back on these at any time during the growing season, but especially during dry weather is a mistake growers should never make. I believe sticking to the plan is always the best route to take when the goal is to maximize yield and profit. As farmers, we know when it’s time to give up on a crop and we always have to make sure we don’t make that decision too early. My suggestion is, stick to your cropping plan, it will pay big dividends at harvest.