Wautoma, WI
Current Conditions
0:56 AM CDT
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Temperature
59°F
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56°F
Humidity
90%
Wind
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05:42 a.m.
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Overnight Forecast (Midnight-7:00am)
Temperatures will range from 59 to 56 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 4 and 8 miles per hour from the west. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
Wednesday
59°F / 56°F
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday
74°F / 54°F
Partly Cloudy
Thursday
78°F / 52°F
Sunny
Friday
77°F / 51°F
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Saturday
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Sunny
Sunday
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Monday
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Light Rain
Detailed Short Term Forecast
Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 59 to a low of 56 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 4 and 8 miles per hour from the westnorthwest. No precipitation is expected.
...$dailyWea.get(0).segments.get($o).statement
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 59 to 56 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 4 and 8 miles per hour from the west. No precipitation is expected.
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 74 to a low of 54 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 1 and 8 miles per hour from the westsouthwest. Less than 1 tenth inch of rain is possible.
The improbably named Lindsey Drought, an agronomist with Landmark Services Cooperative, showed farmers a soil pit, with corn roots highlighted in fluorescent paint during a field day at the co-op’s Answer Plot near Stoughton recently. The number and depth of the tiny roots dictates how much water a corn plant can take up, she explained.

The improbably named Lindsey Drought, an agronomist with Landmark Services Cooperative, showed farmers a soil pit, with corn roots highlighted in fluorescent paint during a field day at the co-op’s Answer Plot near Stoughton recently. The number and depth of the tiny roots dictates how much water a corn plant can take up, she explained. Photo By Jan Shepel

Root system of corn plant especially important in drought

Sept. 27, 2012 | 0 comments

One of the ways to get better corn yields is to get better roots on the plants.

In a year like this one where water is especially scarce, those roots become even more important.

Lindsey Drought, an agronomist with Landmark Services Cooperative showed farmers how the tiny root hairs on a corn plant look with the use of a soil pit that was dug alongside rows of corn at the cooperative's Answer Farm plots near Stoughton.

She highlighted the root system with fluorescent paint to make the point.

Some of the plants in this plot were treated with a plant growth hormone and regulator. It can be applied on the seed, in the furrow or as a foliar treatment, she explained, showing the added roots and root hairs on the treated plants and how important they are for the uptake of water.

This added root system can also aid the plant in standing tall through wind and other weather events.

Forty percent of the water is taken up by corn plants in the first foot of soil, while 30 percent is taken up in the second foot. Any water that the plant takes up from deeper than two feet deep is going to need a set of deep roots, she said.

Some of the untreated plants in the plot had what appeared to be smaller, weaker root systems.

Mike Sarton, another co-op agronomist, talked about the soil micronutrients and corn tissue samples that have been done this year showing how deficient plants were in certain critical elements.

Zinc was deficient in 80 percent of the samples they took last year and in 45 percent of this year's samples.

Potassium, which gets fixed and becomes unavailable to the plants, was deficient in 40 percent of the samples.

Boron was deficient in 92 percent of the samples last year and in 84 percent this year. "There's not a lot in the soil and it's getting less and less," he said.

Iron is one of the trace elements that there is plenty of in local corn tissue samples. "You don't need iron. Don't put it down."

Copper, he said, is starting to look like it is becoming deficient in area corn fields. "It's essential to the immune system of the plant and it's really another inexpensive one to apply. It seems to be especially important on black soils."

Manganese was deficient in 47 percent of their tissue samples last year and in 64 percent this year. "It's a very active ion and it's disappearing from the soil. It is something that's becoming a fact of life and farmers ought to consider, but it must be put on in a foliar application."

It can be added to a tank mix of herbicide like Roundup, he said, and is easy to apply.

There are other things that Wisconsin's soils have in abundance. "We have tons of selenium and all the cobalt you ever want," he said.

Drought also explained that a corn silage crop will remove 160 pounds per acre of potash, illustrating her point with three tubs filled with the fertilizer.

"You have to really think about the pounds of potash removed," she said.

This year that may be especially important with more corn being removed for silage than was planned.

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