Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.
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By: Ben Stoller – Mercer Landmark Agronomy Specialist

The low market prices of corn, high land rent and high costs of inputs have growers searching for ways to grow a profitable 2015 corn crop.

One way of helping is by answering the following questions:

  1. How much N do I need to apply to adequately feed the crop?
  2. How much is too much Nitrogen (at what level does it no longer pay)?
  3. What is the most economical and productive amount of N to apply?

An simple program developed by Iowa State University http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/soilfertility/nrate.aspx allows Midwest corn growers to input the following factors to determine suggested rates based on Nitrogen efficacy trials in their states (nearly 80 such trials have been conducted in Ohio).  Growers need to select or enter only four variables: state; rotation pattern (corn to corn, soybeans to corn); price/ton of Nitrogen fertilizer; corn price.  A grower can also easily determine the cost of Nitrogen per pound by various N fertilizers.

Below is an example of a corn following soybean rotation with an anhydrous ammonia cost of $771/ton and corn price of $3.50/bushel

By using anhydrous ammonia, the calculator indicates:

  1. A grower could expect the best or maximum return on investment at 160 pounds of actual N per acre.
  2. A grower could expect to remain profitable applying anywhere between 146 and 175 pounds of actual N per acre.
  3. A grower could expect to earn $156.82/acre at 160 pounds of actual N per acre.

In comparison, using UAN 28% would result in:

  1. Best or maximum return on investment at 150 pounds of actual N/acre.
  2. Being profitable applying 137-164 pounds of actual N/acre.
  3. Approximate earnings of $141.29/acre with 150 pounds of actual N/acre.

Please contact your Mercer Landmark Agronomy specialist for maximizing your corn profitability.

My next issue will focus on another way of saving on your Nitrogen investment.

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