Apr 15, 2021

Spring is off to a rather early start and time is running out to make crop nutrient plans. It’s important to “make the time to get something in place” – if you don’t already have a plan, said Rod Gustafson, Federated’s agronomy center manager in Albertville.

With crop prices on the higher side, adding essential nutrients can boost yields – and offer very good ROI. Starting with soil samples, outline the nutrient needs for every field. Your Federated Agronomist can help develop recommendations for this growing season. If you don’t have a current soil sample, “use a replacement recommendation based on what kind of yield you expect, and then fertilize according to replacement,” said Gustafson.

For growers who made plans early, “it’s just a matter of reviewing the plan,” he said, verifying that nothing changed since last season, such as adding a field or not farming a particular acreage, or changing from corn to beans or vice versa.

Remember these three points:

  • - Keep soil samples current (every three or four years). Replacement recommendations – using yields from last season as the basis – are not the most effective for yield-boosting nutrient management.
  • - Know the “true expected yield for the crop,” said Gustafson, “so we can make the best recommendations.”
  • - Know when to apply the nutrients. Will you be split applying with pre-plant and side dress later, or applying nutrients all at once?

If Federated will be doing the spreading or spraying, it’s especially important to note any topographical changes – field shape, sensitive features, etc. Keep field maps current, and communicate with your Federated Agronomist often.

Gustafson noted that once you have a nutrient plan in place, be sure to plan for herbicides as well. Weed control begins early, too – especially with increased concerns over weed resistance on the tougher weeds.

Effective nutrient management moves crops toward higher yields. Talk to your Federated Agronomist soon.

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