As planting is critical for everything else that happens during the growing season, the dry conditions have led to a variety of questions this planting season regarding soil conditions, planting depth, irrigation and herbicides.
During the fall of a building La Niña event, the northern and central High Plains region has a tendency to be warmer and drier than normal, which will keep drought prospects elevated for 2022 barring an exceptionally wet late winter and spring.
University of Nebraska irrigation scheduling recommendations encourage irrigators to allow crops to continue using more of the stored soil water starting in August and continuing into September when the crop matures.
Soil moisture sensors installed now can provide valuable information for dryland producers who want to determine existing soil moisture level and adjust cropping or planting plans accordingly. The authors installed and will be monitoring soil moisture readings at six sites in south central Nebraska.
This week the National Drought Monitor rated almost 25% of Nebraska as "abnormally dry," a major change from 0% since Jan. 1. Most of the affected area was along the southern tier of Nebraska counties.