Every few months, a new region seems to be struggling under drought conditions. Brazil and other parts of South America are the latest to suffer through insufficient rainfalls, but Australia, California, and Thailand have all dealt with this setback in recent years.
In these situations, growers particularly feel the strain of dwindling water supplies. It’s hard to watch crops wilt and yields drop below normal. Yet with the right soil amendments, there’s hope to maintain the production and health of crops during a drought. Here’s a quick snapshot of two ways products like Acadian Kelp® can empower your drought stress management strategies.
Encourage Root Growth
When plants are dealing with drought conditions, their roots can suffer along the way. A study from the Carnegie Institution for Science shows that crown root growth of maize, sorghum and sugar cane slows down to conserve water and nutrients during periods of water stress. Since crown roots are vital for sensing water, this self-preservation response has unintended consequences for the plant, making it harder for them to find water when it’s already scarce.
One way to support the root systems of your crop when rainfall is low is to foster healthy microbe activity in the surrounding soil. Crop inputs that provide organic acids and saccharides to soil microbes enable those beneficial microorganisms to transfer essential nutrients to your plants. As a result, plant performance is more efficient, allowing crops to rouse up the energy to grow deeper roots in search of untapped water supplies.
Maintain Cell Hydration
Crops’ ability to retain water during drought conditions is particularly important. During optimal growing conditions, plants keep their stomata open to exhale water vapor in a process called transpiration. This keeps plants cool and circulates essential nutrients and vital minerals and nutrients to their leaves. Yet when water is scarce, plants need to close their stomata to preserve the water they have. Time is of the essence to conserve every drop.
Growers using the right crop inputs can promote this process. With the right organic compounds and nutrients, plants can close their stomata as normal rainfall begins to decrease. Plus, those that contain amino acids like proline and sugar alcohol like mannitol can help a wide variety of crop types to regulate hydration and keep plant cells healthy during prolonged drought stress.
Are you using the right crop input to simplify your drought stress management plan? If not, let’s make some time to talk about how our Acadian Kelp® products can help you.