Navigating Drought Season: 5 Essential Tips for Alberta Farmers with OMEX C3 Soil Products

Planting and growing season is underway, and many Albertan farmers and agricultural producers are facing the realities of contending with severe drought conditions across the prairies (source). Drought conditions can significantly impact crop yields, soil health, and overall farm productivity, making it essential to be aware of what preventive and proactive steps you can take to mitigate the effects of moisture scarcity.

At Norstar Agriculture, we know just how important it is for agriculturists to have access to the tools and nutrients their crops need to thrive in challenging environmental conditions. In addition to industry-leading agronomy services, our team carries a wide variety of soil and plot treatments, including OMEX C3 products

Below, we’ll take a closer look at essential practices to help keep your soil viable under drought conditions, including how OMEX products can help. Read on to learn more!

Essential Practices

While farmers can do little to control climate conditions, they can act to safeguard their crops and enrich soil vitality for the best growing season possible. Knowing what preventative measures are available to you is essential to avoiding financial losses and maximizing your yield. To mitigate damage during droughts, abide by the following best practices:

Implement Water Conservation Practices

During a drought, water is one of the most precious resources for your crops. Conservation is essential to ensure you have enough moisture to carry you through the season without wilting, burning, or losing crops entirely to the heat. There are many ways to implement water-saving techniques, including drip irrigation, using mulch, precision watering and practicing conservation-oriented tillage to help keep soil moisture at an ideal balance and lower water runoff. The earlier you start these practices, the better, as the prairies (particularly in the southern region) are well known for their sudden heatwaves and wind storms that can strip soil of vital nutrients and water reserves in a short period of time. 

Choose Drought-Resistant Crop Varieties

As any seasoned agriculturalist knows, planting to the unique conditions of the region is essential for success. During difficult climate conditions, it’s crucial to take this practice a step further and focus on cultivating crops that can handle the projected temperature (and subsequent lack of moisture) of any given growing season. Drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum, millet, and specific varieties of wheat and barley can thrive in low-water environments, offering a viable option for drought-proofing agricultural operations.

Implement Crop Rotation and Diversification

Similarly, implementing a crop rotation strategy (often guided by an agronomist) can help farmers make the most of their fields in spite of poor growing conditions. Incorporating drought-resistant crops into your planting scheme not only avoids lost revenue in the current season but can actually increase your profit by diversifying your crops and priming the land for different crop cycles that are best suited to varying climate conditions.

Monitor Soil Moisture Levels and Weather Patterns

Just as you should do every growing season, it is even more vital to monitor soil moisture levels and weather patterns during a drought. Utilizing a combination of soil moisture sensors, weather stations, and satellite imagery to track moisture levels and predict rainfall patterns (as well as the rate of moisture evaporation) gives you valuable insights that can help inform your conservation efforts and crop management decisions all season long. 

Enhance Soil Health with OMEX C3 Products

Finally, soil health plays a crucial role in drought resilience and overall crop vitality. Healthier soil retains better moisture levels and provides nutrients that are essential to plant survival in adverse conditions. Using products like OMEX’s C3 formula can help to rebalance poor soil conditions and restore vital nutrition that may be otherwise lacking. C3, in particular, is designed to act as a “stress reliever” and contains a specially balanced blend of organic carbon and humic. It is also available with a high K analysis (6-12-12) and as C3 + 0.5% Cu. C3’s beneficial microbes and compounds work together to promote soil aggregation, water infiltration, and nutrient availability, all of which play a key role in helping farmers create resilient soils that are better equipped to withstand drought stress and sustain crop growth.

Don’t Just Survive Drought Season, Help Your Crops Thrive

Norstar Agriculture is here to help you create the best foundation for your crop yield, drought or no drought. Alongside a large inventory of fertilizing and plant nutrition supplies (including OMEX products), we offer onsite agronomy evaluation, including soil testing and more.  Learn how we can help you grow by contacting our team today!