Volume XIX Issue 1
Fertilizer Management Tips………………………………...Page 2
Reprinted From '84, Phosphorus Fertilizer Placement……Page 3
Fertilizer Management Tips Offered
With Prospects for Higher Anhydrous Costs
Producers across America are likely to see higher nitrogen fertilizer costs this year. And, the culprit of higher nitrogen fertilizer costs is, of all things, natural gas prices.
As most producers know, nitrogen is created from anhydrous ammonia and anhydrous is created by combining natural gas, air, high temperature and intense pressure. Unfortunately, natural gas prices are increasing dramatically due to increased demand in the northeast and the use of natural gas to produce electricity.
The bottom line is we can't do much about the cost of natural gas, but we can utilize good fertilizer management to more efficiently use the nitrogen available to us.
To minimize the cost of your nitrogen this year, while maximizing its effectiveness, we offer the following management tips:
Ward Professionals Offer Hints For
Top Dressing Fertilizer For Wheat
Every year at this time, the professionals at Ward Laboratories field dozens of calls from wheat producers about how much nitrogen is needed in a top dressing operation.
And, while it is too late to conduct a soil nitrate test, there are some rules of thumb to follow which will allow you to provide adequate top dressed fertilizer for your crop.
Since wheat generally grows when the weather is cool, producers should not expect much nitrogen help from past legume crops like you would expect from summer crops.
Generally, producers need to figure on 2.4 lbs. of nitrogen per bushel of wheat for crop development. If you conducted a soil nitrate test last fall prior to planting and you applied nitrogen in the fall, you have the information you need to calculate an early spring top dress application. If you didn't conduct a fall soil test or fall application, assume you have 50 lbs. of nitrogen/acre available in the soil.
Calculate your spring application need using the following formula:
Your Yield Goal x 2.4 -50 lbs. (or known quantity) = lbs. per acre needed in the spring
Timing of the above application is critical with the optimum application time as near dormancy break as possible. In many situations, nitrogen can be applied before dormancy break, but not in frozen fields on sloping lands.