There Go the Nutrients!

Oct 24, 2022

crop removal takes nutrients too
The crops come off the field … and there go the nutrients! Crop nutrient removal is a big deal. And while spring applications can address most of the nitrogen (N) that is lost, the loss of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) often gets overlooked.
Don Lamker, Federated’s ag sales rep for Rush City and Ogilvie, said, “A typical 150 bu./ac. corn crop will remove 135 lbs./ac. of N, 56 lbs./ac. of P2O5 (elemental phosphorus), and 41 lbs./ac. of K2O.”
To replace that, at today’s fertilizer pricing, would cost $112 per acre, adding 0.9 lbs./ac. of N, 0.37 lbs./ac. of P2O5, and 0.27 lbs./ac. of K.
“A soybean crop of 40 bu./ac. will remove 152 lbs./ac. of N (but note that a good deal of that is produced by the soybean crop itself and some of it is taken out of the soil). It will also remove about 32 lbs./ac. of P2O5 and 56 lbs./ac. of K2O,” said Lamker.
P and K are great fall fertilizer choices because those nutrients will still be in the soil when spring arrives. (N, however, doesn’t always stay in the soil so spring applications are always needed.)
Lamker noted that he observed a good deal of potassium deficiency this year, and he surmised that K applications had been cut due to high fertilizer pricing. “You can only get by with that for so long,” he said. Reducing or cutting P and K applications involves a level of risk – yield-reducing risk.
Put back the nutrients your crop removed. Spring will be busy, so call your Federated Agronomist today to set up fall applications.

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