Fall Fertilizer: Like Hokey Pokey

Sep 27, 2022

Fall fertilizer makes spring easier and gives crops the nutrients they need.
You put your fertilizer in … you get a good crop out. It’s like you’re doing the hokey pokey, but if you don’t “turn yourself around” and look toward next season now, you may find yourself with little time and great need (for nutrients) come spring.
Rod Gustafson, location manager at Federated in Albertville, said, “It’s still the same story [same song] … try to reduce the workload in the spring, spread out the workload between seasons, and get the P and K down now.” Turn to look at next season – even as the combine is still hot from harvest – and get fertilizer spread this fall.
With fewer rainfall events (and therefore, less runoff), good product availability, fewer compaction issues, and generally more time, fall is a great time to apply potassium and phosphorous.
Once harvest is done, take soil samples (especially if you haven’t done so in the past couple of years) and then apply fertilizer as indicated by the soil tests. At the very least, apply fall fertilizer at a crop removal rate.
Gustafson noted that fertilizer prices are higher this year than last, and there’s no saying what prices will look like come spring.
Talk to your Federated Agronomist for recommendations. Note: There are strict rules about applying P and K on frozen ground, so apply before the cold weather arrives. 
(If you missed the mid-September Agronomy Update, this video discussed the results of not addressing potassium deficiency on soybeans.)

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