Fertility Needs after the Crop Is Harvested  11/08/18 9:06:40 AM

What a year it has been--for the 5th year in a row it seems!.   I seem to say this every year, however, this has undoubtedly been a year where weather has played a larger than normal role in what we are harvesting/trying to harvest.  I think all thought we had a sizable corn crop and that the soybeans would have the same results.  That has been true and false dependent on where you farm.  Soybeans performance has been good and sometimes great.  Corn has generally been great when it comes to yield.    However, there have been some late season issues in soybeans which has generated a number of questions which we will dissect this winter in trying to figure what went on around the edges of the fields.   We are learning another yearly lesson—never give up on the crop—even after snow, frost, flood, hot, dry, cool and wet—we still have produced a sizable crop.
Dates and programs
A FRIENDLY REMEMBER NOVEMBER 20TH!  We know this is the last thing on your mind right now and might seem a bit irritating at the moment, however, we also feel the need to remind you of this date coming up in case your are interested.   Booking prior to Nov. 20th ensures you the best seed deal of 12% volume discount and 8% cash discount.  After Nov. 20th the discount schedule goes to 12% volume and 6% cash until January 18th 2019.
Acres of opportunity—Incremental purchases over last year’s order can earn you up to an additional $20 off corn and $5 off soybeans along with the volume and cash discounts. 
Fall Soil Sampling and Fertility—Redundant but necessary!
Fall is the time to sample soils and make fertilizer decisions as necessary to get fertility to the desired maintenance levels prior to converting or maintaining conventional and no-till acres for next season. Conventional tillage producers are sometimes apprehensive regarding fertilizer placement and crop utility when application occurs on the surface.  Many producers who have been no-tilling for 5 years or more have not encountered fertility placement or availability problems.  Issues, which have surfaced, include:
  • Continued surface application can result in higher concentration of nutrients (stratification) in top 3 inches of soil, over time.This higher concentration of nutrients near the soil surface has not caused any yield reduction.
  • In no-till the greatest concentration of root growth occurs near the soil surface, because the surface residue keeps the soil surface cooler and more moist near the surface.This has not proven to be an issue in corn on corn or rotation practices and across many acres the yield and agronomic performance has improved.
Let’s review some of the basic utility and placement facts regarding fertility-(some of this may seem repetitive, but good for review.)
  • < > There are many options for nitrogen application when no-tilling. Below is a list of some of their pros and cons. Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) – Likely the most economical nitrogen source, apply mainly in the fall, but is also applied in a spring preplant or sidedress. Knife in at a depth of 6” using an applicator with coulters to cut through the residue an insure proper sealing after the soil temperature at 6” is below 50 degrees.. Avoid applying close to planting in the spring as it may cause seedling injury.
  • Liquid Nitrogen (UAN 28-32%) – Sometimes more expensive, can be
    broadcast alone, used as a herbicide carrier, or injected. Nitrogen from urea, a component of UAN solutions, can often be lost to ammonia volatilization if broadcast on a moist soil surface, especially under windy conditions.  Ammonia losses are generally greater on a soil surface with high residue cover.  Urease inhibitors can be used to prevent urea hydrolysis from occurring before the fertilizer moves into the soil matrix.
  • Ammonium Nitrate – More expensive and not always available. Ammonia loss potential following surface broadcast applications is reduced compared to urea or UAN solutions.
  • Phosphorous and Potassium: Phosphorous and potassium requirements for no-till fields should be the same as in conventional fields.
  • P & K application rate should be based on soil test and realistic yield goals.
  • Generally it is best to broadcast apply P & K in the fall because the risk of compaction is less in the fall than in the spring.
  • Fall application allows rainfall and snow melt to move P & K into the soil
    surface rooting zone.
  • Micronutrients: Micronutrient availability does not appear to be significantly affected by the absence of tillage. Soil pH has the greatest impact on micronutrient availability so monitoring soil pH is important.
  • Starter Fertilizer: No-till corn will generally benefit from starter fertilizer
    more than conventionally tilled corn, especially if soil fertility levels are low to
    medium. Use starter fertilizer rates containing 30-40 lbs of N/acre.
  • In no-till, the soil stays cooler which reduces nutrient availability and root growth early in the season.
  • Early in the spring microbes will utilize available nitrogen from the soil to break down crop residue making it unavailable for seedling growth.
  • Starter fertilizer tends to offset the slow growth period corn seedlings often
    go through around the 3rd- and 4th-leaf stage.
  • The best results have been obtained with starter injected two inches
    away from the plant and 2 inches below the soil surface.The thin knife/coulter assemblies are recommended.
  • < > Sample soils and apply lime as necessary to get the pH to the desired maintenance levels prior to converting to no-till.  For corn and soybeans soil pH levels can range from 5.5 to 7.5.  Optimal levels are closer to 6.5 to 6.8 for corn and 6.0 to 6.5 for soybeans.1 (Apply the required lime in the fall and disc into the top 2-3 inches of the soil. Incorporate it into the soil with a chisel plow and level the field sufficiently to accommodate no-till planting.Lime requirements should be based on buffering the top 2-3 inches of soil.
  • The amount of lime applied at one time should be reduced by 50-70% with no-till compared to conventional tillage.
  • Studies show that lime slowly works itself down into the soil in the absence of tillage at a rate of about 1 inch/year, thus more frequent application of smaller amounts of lime are recommended.
  • Apply the lime in the fall or on frozen ground to avoid compaction.Since soybean response to lime is usually greater than that of corn it is advisable to lime ahead of soybeans if possible.
    Apply only the recommended rate of nitrogen; it requires about 4 lbs. of lime on acid soils to buffer each pound of nitrogen applied as NH3 or UAN
    Ferguson, R.B., De Groot, K.M. 2001 Nutrient Management for Agronomic Crops in Nebraska. University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension EC01-155-S University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Lincoln NE
    In response to questions regarding phosphorus this week, here is quick review of phosphorus function within plant development--Like nitrogen, phosphorus is mobile inside the plant and as plants mature, much of the phosphorus moves into the seed or fruit.  Phosphorus is a key component of the molecules that provide ENERGY to plants and, thus, is important in photosynthesis and respiration.  Phosphorus is also a key component of the DNA and RNA nucleotides responsible for the genetic code and protein synthesis.  Phosphorus, as phospholipids, is also a key component of plant membranes and affects their permeability.  Large quantities of phosphorus are required in young cells and plants where the rate of metabolism is high and cell division is rapid.  Because of its importance in promoting seedling growth, phosphorus is a major component of many starter fertilizers.  Phosphorus has many effects on crops.  It encourages root development, early season growth and seedling vigor, tillering in small grains, improves resistance to drought and cold temperatures, hastens maturity and increases yield. Phosphorus deficient plants often have purplish areas on leaves, stems, and branches.  Phosphorus deficiency slows respiration more than photosynthesis resulting in a buildup of plant sugars.  High sugar levels encourage higher levels of anthocyanins which are purple pigments.  This symptomology can also be caused by cold temperatures, soil compaction, and crop varietal differences.  Phosphorus deficient plants can also appear darker green or "bluish" green and are generally stunted due to reduced cell division, but they later become pale and yellowish-green.
    Replacing what you harvest is something we talk about year-a-round.  It is many times overlooked when setting up fertility plans for the next season.  We use this table a lot as a baseline point of reference and it can be modified easily to fit most any management style.  We also bring this up every year about now and it is ever more important after about 6 years of record yields in many areas.  Consider the following table.
Nutrient Removal for Corn       Nutrient Removal for Soybeans  
Corn nutrient requirements       Soybean nutrient requirements    
(150 bushel acre grain yield-       (Soybean yield of 40 bushels/acre)  
9,000 pounds of stalk yield                
    Removed   Total       Removed   Total
    in Grain in Stalks Uptake     in Grain in Stalks Uptake
    Pounds Per Acre   Nutrient   Pounds Per Acre
  135 100 235   Nitrogen (N) 188 127 315
  64 36 100   Phosphorus (P2O5) 44 30 74
  42 144 186   Potassium (K2O) 66 576 142
    14 11 25   Sulfur (S)   5 15 20
    0.15 0.3 0.45   Zinc (Zn)   0.05 0.3 0.35
1.  Franzen, D. and J. Gerwing, 1997, Effectiveness of Using   *Most all of the nitrogen required is supplied
Low Rates of Plant Nutrients.  North Central Regional Publication through the soil and the atmosphere through
341. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Lincoln NE.     symbiotic fixation.     
              **Soybeans fixate approximately 1 lb of
2.  Voss R.D. 1993. Corn. In W.F. Bennett (ed). Nutrient   nitrogen into the soil for every  
Deficiencies and Toxicites inb Crop Plants. Am.     bushel of grain produced.  
Phytopathological Society, St. Paul MN.              
From this table we can get handle of how much is potentially left for a harvested grain standpoint.  You cannot actually tell how much is left without soil sampling for fertility levels of the respective nutrient.  The reason is this---Without soil sampling it is difficult to determine how much of the nutrients applied this spring to your crops were made plant available given the weather conditions.  With sufficient soil moisture levels nutrients (nitrogen as example) may not have been made totally plant available during the growing season due to leaching.  Additionally, soil nitrogen and other nutrients may have been pushed down through the soil profile making them unavailable to crop uptake.
Wiles Brothers Fertilizer Inc.      
Lawn & Garden      
Pre-emerge Herbicide with Dry Fertilizer      
Crabgrass Prevention      
    Package Size Rate/Coverage Area
19-0-6 .125% Dimension         50# 12,500 sq.ft,
Broadleaf Control      
22-0-5 w/1% Iron 1% Sulfur 1.5% Trimec        50# 12,500 sq.ft.
Pre-emerge Herbicide      
Crabgrass Prevention      
Dimension 2EW Dithiopyr 1 & 2.5 Gallons .73 oz/1000 sq ft.
Pendulum Aqua Cap Pendimethalin 2.5 Gallons 1.15 oz/1000 sq ft short term
      3.3 oz/1000 sq ft long term
Prowl H2O (Farmstead Label Only) Pendimethalin 2.5 Gallons 1.5 oz/1000 sq ft short term
      3 oz/1000 sq ft long term
Broadleaf Control      
Mecamine D 2,4-D, Dicamba, Mecoprop 1 & 2.5 Gallons 1.4 oz/1000 sq ft
Trimec Classic 2,4-D, Dicamba, Mecoprop     1 Gallon 1.4 oz/1000 sq ft
Chaser Turf Herbicide  (Clover Control) 2,4-D, Triclopyr 2.5 Gallons 1.4 oz/1000 sq ft
Q4 2,4-D, Dicamba, Quinclorac & 1 Gallon 3 oz/1000 sq ft
Lawn & Garden Fertilizers      
20-3-5-5% Fe-7% S-1% Zn   50# Bag 12,500 sq.ft.
46-0-0   50# Bag  
13-13-13   50# Bag  
Specialty Needs:      
Yellow Nutsedge Post-emerge:      
 1. Sedgehammer Halosulfuron  .9 gram/Pak .9 gram/1000 sq.ft.
Post-emerge Crab Grass Post Control:      
Quinclorac 75DF quinclorac 1 # Container 1#/Acre
Trimec Crabgrass   1 Qt Container  
Drive XLR quinclorac 2 Qt Container  
Ornamentals: Pre-emerge Grass & Broadleaf Control                       
Snapshot 2.5G Grass and broadleaf 50 # Bag 4.6#/1000 sq.ft.
(Trifluralin & Isoxaben) pre-emerge control    
  in ornamentals    
Total Vegetation Control      
Tomahawk 5   2.5 Gallons 1.1 oz/1000 sq ft
Pramitol 5PS   20# Bag 4.6 -9.2 #/1000 sq ft
Pramitol 25E   1 Gallon 1 Gallon/10,000 sq ft
Imazapyr 2XL (Arsenal)   1 Qt 2.2 oz/1000 sq ft
Arsenal   2.5 Gallons 2.2 oz/1000 sq ft
Insect Control:      
Grub Control:       
Criterion .5G (Imidacloprid)   30# Bag 1.8#/1000 sq ft
Malice 75 WSP (Imidacloprid)   1.6 oz   1.6 oz/11,000 sq ft. 
Grub Control w 1.5% Mach 11                                                       16# Bag      5000 sq ft
(Maxlawn) - (halofenozide)              
Bagworms: Apply approximately 3rd week in May.       
Talstar P or Bisect (Not Restricted Use)                    Bifenthrin 1 Gallon      10.8 oz/100 gallons
Talstar P or Bisect (Not Restricted Use)  Bifenthrin 1 Pint     10.8 oz/100 gallons
Tengard SFR (Not Restricted Use) Permethrin 1 .25 Gallon 8 oz/100 gallons  
18-0-18 w Merit .2#   50# Bag 12,500 sq ft
Buildings and Yard:       
Bisect (Not Restricted Use) Bifenthrin I/T 7.9F 1 Gallon 1 oz/Gallon Water
Tempo SC Ultra (Not Restricted Use) lambda-cyhalothrin 240 ml 16 ml/Gallon Water
Specialty Items:      
Feature (Iron Citrate) Geen up Lawns 3# Bag 3# - 3-6 #/Acre every 2-3 weeks.
                                    Slurry and add first.
      Mixes well with herbicide and insecticide.
Eagle 20 EW (Triazole) myclobutanil 1 gal Container 1.2 – 2.4 oz/1000 sq.ft.
Talpirid Mole Bromethalin 20 worms/Carton 1 worm/runway    
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