In 2022, be flexible and have more than one plan.
In a recent edition of the Mississippi Crop Situation podcast out of Stoneville, Mississippi, the “Crop Doctors,” Drs. Don Cook, Jason Bond and Tom Allen, Jr. with Mississippi State University sat down to discuss how to manage the 2022 crop with supply chain and product availability challenges.
Supply chain challenges
Early in the podcast, Bond mentions the “concerned buying” going on in fall 2021 when input prices were about to further increase.
“Some of this is not clear whether the physical product is not there or we’ve had the same as we did, we just have a bigger demand for it,” Cook says.
Cook also goes on to say to make more accurate recommendations for crop management during this season, insect pressures must be known.
He answers Bond’s inquiry on whether anything can be done between now and planting time, with nitrogen being an almost non-negotiable input, to save costs.
“From an agronomic standpoint … a lot of it depends on what you’ve done in the past,” he says.
This includes phosphorous and potassium levels, fertility programs and crop rotations. Herbicide programs, he says, can also be used in conjunction with crop selection.
Allen suggests taking note of variety selection and factor that into your herbicide decision and application timing. This, he says, could help trim costs at the back end, rather than attempting to save those costs at the front end with seeding applications and having more of an issue later.
Bond says that planting date can also contribute to cost-saving adjustments as well. He continues by saying this could prove beneficial for weed control, insects and disease pressure.
Knowing both your short-term and long-term goals and having plans is key for making crop management decisions this season, Bond says.
“Plans, plural, because chances are you’re going to encounter a situation in 2022 where something you want is not going to be available, or the price is going to be such that you’re going to seek out alternatives,” he says.
Cook says that the state we are in is not static and is changing every day.
“Go into it with the mindset of having to be flexible and adapt to an everchanging situation,” he says.
He continues by emphasizing the role being played this year making a difference in future seasons and says, “What you do has ramifications beyond this crop.”
“Don’t cut something out of the program that’s going to give you a bigger problem in 2023,” Allen says.
Allen touches on the importance of pH and the significance it has in a crop when speaking about things that should not be cut out of a program to save costs this season.
“If you neglect rectifying a pH issue, that will also contribute to what appears to be nutritional issues … if you forget about it, it’s a trickle-down impact, and it compounds upon itself.”
In the end, the Crop Doctors recognize the difficulties that are being faced and may lie ahead but reiterate they are here to help and to give them a call with any questions.
MSU entomologist Dr. Don Cook, MSU weed scientist Dr. Jason Bond and MSU plant pathologist Dr. Tom Allen provided this information.