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Agronomists are continually testing various corn products to see how they perform in hot, dry environments, similar to drought conditions. They conducted a root dig challenge at the Water Utilization Learning Center in Gothenburg, Nebraska to compare the root structures of DEKALB® products with Pioneer® Optimum® AQUAmax™ and another competitor. The results proved that strong, consistent root structures are vital in order to seek out water and nutrients from the soil. The majority of the water and nutrient consumption occurred at 85 inches or more below ground. Roots that cannot grow deep enough to reach the needed nutrients result in above ground issues including inconsistent kernel set, poor stand and weak stalks.
Mark Reiman, DEKALB agronomist, Mike Petersen, Orthman Manufacturing Lead Agronomist, and Jeff Tichota, Monsanto Technology Development Representative, discussed how each of the various root systems performed under these extreme drought conditions when the water supply was shutoff.
They concluded from the root dig that the DEKALB root structure extends approximately 61 inches deeper than the Pioneer® Optimum® AQUAmax™, which led to higher yield potential. For more information regarding deep roots, read Why Deep Roots Matter, a recent article on agAnytime.