Nationally recognized high yield soybean grower Ray Rawson once said “Don’t be a moron and think you get high yields by putting more-on.”
If 100 lbs of K is good 300 lbs is better, right?
I have had a number of farmers ask me at shows, “How much fertilizer do I need for this crop?”
Many are confused when I tell them, “I don’t know, do you have a soil analysis?”
Many reply with “No I haven’t.”
It really floors them when I tell them, “Without a proper analysis nobody can make an accurate recommendation.”
Not enough N, P & K is generally not your most limiting factors.* Making those nutrients and the 13 others available to your plants is. When was the last time a full soil analysis was taken on your farms?
With the price of N, P, and K going through the roof and continuing out of this world, does it really make sense to base your nutrient recommendations on 10-year-old information, how about 2-year-old information?
If your consultant makes a fertility recommendation without a proper soil analysis, fire that salesman, and find a proper consultant. With today’s input prices you cannot afford to work with someone that does not know how to read a soil analysis and make proper recommendations.
Did you know that adding sulfur makes your nitrogen work more efficiently? Having enough calcium in the right ratios helps to reduce nitrogen volatilization and leaching. Adding a high quality EDTA manganese when spraying glyphosate can reduce soybean “flash” and reduces stalk rots in corn. Low or high pH reduces availability of fertilizers, and decreases nodulation.
Don’t be a more-on, take proper soil samples, provide your crop with the proper amount of nutrients in the right amounts, and take more yield to the bin.
*If your thinking weather is your most limiting factor, you might be right. That is out of your control, but proper plant nutrition is not. Even in poor weather, properly managed crops will always out yield poorly managed crops.
The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!