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: Kyle Imwalle – Mercer Landmark Agronomist

With fertilizer prices staying steady and supplies tighter, farmers should talk with their local Mercer Landmark agronomist to make sure they are applying the right rate, in the right form, at the right time. Farmers might also consider purchasing a portion of next season’s fertilizer requirements in the fall, rather than in the spring, A Purdue study of the seasonality of fertilizer prices shows large advantages for fall fertilizer purchases compared to spring purchases most years, but there have been a handful of exceptions to that, too, so it is certainly not a risk-free strategy.

P and K considerations

P and K fertilizers can either be applied in the fall or spring, but due to time constraints, most farmers prefer to apply them in the fall, when conditions are appropriate. If broadcasting P and K, make sure you do so before soils are frozen to avoid the potential for increased spring runoff. Soil tests help insure that we are applying the right amount of fertilizer. Farmers should always address the nutrient needs of fields or even parts of fields that are testing before critical levels first, before spending dollars on nutrients that might not be needed at all due to adequate test levels.

Improved N efficiencies

In general, what’s best for the plant and for the environment is to apply fertilizer as close as possible to when the plant needs it. For nitrogen that is even more important. Nitrogen is more mobile than P and K, so if a farmer wants to apply some N in the fall a nitrogen stabilizer is recommended. Most nitrogen stabilizers will protect nitrogen into the spring. The one concern is if there is a wet spring and pushes planting back it will cause the fall nitrogen to become subjected to a greater loss than normal.

Talk with your local Mercer Landmark Agronomist today about creating a fertilizer program to help maximize your yield potential.

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