Annual Agronomy News > Capitalizing on Nutrients Applied

Capitalizing on Nutrients Applied

Dec 01, 2021

Across all goods, prices seem to be rising as of the past few months. From fuel to beer at Lambeau, it has all gone up. Fertilizer prices have been a hot topic as well. Some fertilizer sources are more than double where they were in December 2020. Looking to the 2022 growing season, it could be a challenge to apply the same amount of fertilizer as we did for the 2021 crop considering commodities like corn and milk haven’t doubled with input prices. All that being said, challenges like these present opportunities for innovation for everyone industry wide. Fertilizer costs may be higher, but we still need to provide our crop with enough nutrition to produce a profitable yield.

The first step is capitalizing on all nutrients that are applied. This can be accomplished by using products like Anvol, a urease inhibitor, that protects Urea from volatizing by sunlight after being top dressed. UAN (32 or 28% liquid nitrogen) can be stabilized with products like Cipher which protect UAN from leaching or denitrifying. Impregnating fertilizer with Titan XC to make your phosphorous and potassium sources more available faster is another example of getting the most from your nutrient sources. Applying the right nutrients in the right spot with services like Variable Rate is another great example.

The second step is to keep focus on growing healthy plants. Inputs may be higher, but a field filled with weeds, diseases, or insects may be tough to profit on. Weeds like waterhemp love soils high in nitrates and will draw their fair share of nutrients and water away from your crop. Staying on top of weed control with new traits and two pass programs is still vital. Hybrids of corn that respond well to fungicide and soybean varieties that may be susceptible to certain diseases normally pay back on fungicide applications. Insects have always had economic thresholds for controlling no different than years prior.

Last, but not least, get creative with your nutrient sources. We traditionally think of Nitrogen sources as Urea or UAN (liquid 32%), but there are new products like Envita which is a bio stimulant product that helps corn symbiotically work with bacteria to capitalize on atmospheric nitrogen similar to that of soybeans or alfalfa. Country Visions ran numerous Envita plots across its locations in 2021. It can be applied in pop-up or foliar applications. Potash has been the bedrock for potassium nutrient sources and is still one of the best sources. That being said, certain Country Visions locations carry a Nachurs product called K-Fuel which is a liquid product of potassium acetate that is highly absorbable. While it is not a replacement for potash, it can fill in some of the nutrition gaps with soybean herbicide or fungicide mixes, alfalfa insecticide passes, wheat herbicide or fungicide applications, and even in Y-dropping.

Inputs may be higher going into 2022, but that doesn’t mean basic agronomic practices get thrown out the window. Focus on foundation of growing good crops: good seed bed, uniform planting and emergence, timely herbicide and nutrient applications, scouting for pests, and proper harvest timing are always keys to success. Other good practices include in season sampling like tissue tests, preplant nitrate tests, and pre-side dress nitrate tests to help make decisions before applying nutrients. Then you know what your crop needs before you fertilize.

Legume credits and manure have always been a good form of cheap organic nutrients, but even when fertilizer is high, we often times still need supplemental nutrients to grow a good crop. Remember that throughout history challenges often lead to innovation. We are looking forward to helping you grow a crop worth remembering.

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