Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Why the dry weather might not be all bad for Ukraine winter crops

Some rain happening now in western Ukraine, moving eastwards throughout the rest of the week.

This will stimulate germination and establishment of recently planted spring cereals and peas and  bring some relief to over wintered wheat and rape crops.

The dry winter and spring thus far might not necessarily be as bad for over wintered crops as it initially seems.

In dry conditions plant roots tend to go deeper looking for water and warmer than average (and warmer than last year soil temperature - see graph in the adjacent column) will have stimulated root development earlier in the season.

This will have allowed for a greater mass and length of root to develop, as can be seen on this chart.  The upshot of this is that if soil structure and everything else allows, there will be more roots deeper in to the soil profile which will be able to absorb water for longer as it drains past.

So the moral is to fix your soil structure so roots can develop to depth, it’ll pay dividends in a dry season.