Following heavy spring rains, farmers may be interested in testing for soil nitrogen availability. This article notes a new publication from Iowa State University on using the Late Spring Soil Nitrate Test (LSNT) as well as other options for assessing soil nitrate.
As you evaluate the cost of inputs, consider this: Only focusing on expenses without subsequent income changes is misleading. The most profitable plan uses the most profitable inputs. Is a starter fertilizer one of those inputs? The authors look at university and grower research under various conditions to see when a starter fertilizer offers economic benefits.
Soil testing and applying only the soil nutrients needed to produce your yield goal can provide a significant savings in fertilizer costs. Nebraska research shows growers can save as much as $52.12/acre for postponing phosphorus, potassium and zinc applications.
At the 2017 Crop Production Clinics, the Nebraska Extension Soils Team is presenting a historical overview of how nitrogen recommendations for corn have developed and changed since the 1950s. We are also discussing what may lay ahead for nitrogen management.
Well, it seems not much has changed since the last article I wrote on nitrogen (N) management a few weeks back: more rain, more to come, and more uncertainty with regard to N. So, what do we do now and why I am not worried about the other nutrients? Why is it always about N?
USDA NASS estimated 26% of Nebraska’s corn acres had been planted as of May 2, well behind last year’s pace of 45% and slightly behind the five-year average of 31%. The pace is undoubtedly being affected by the amount of precipitation across the state and the wet field conditions (Figures 1 and 2).
Spring is officially here, and with it the uncertainty of spring rains or late snow showers. For many Nebraska farmers, finishing preparation for planting or waiting on the starting line to plant is the number one priority. Nitrogen (N) management may not be the most important thought crossing their minds. But, now is a great time to think about N management for this upcoming season.