Potassium is critical for in-plant water management, which means that adequate levels of the nutrient at various depths is a key component of how well a crop handles drought stress. While no one can accurately predict a drought, managing overall soil health and nutrient levels is a great way to add some drought risk management to your cropping strategies.
If potassium management in the face of drought is more long-term, nitrogen management in a dry year is more reactive. As Purdue University professor Tony Vyn discusses in this video (filmed at this years Southwest Agricultural Conference), split applications of N are the long-term norm corn production is headed. He notes, however, that in a dry year, top dressed N may not have the impact you’ve come to expect due to lower overall availability.
If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.