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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Nitrogen Management

I saw a disturbing sight today.  Nitrogen was being delivered to the field.  Illinois Agronomy Handbook says that fall applied nitrogen should not be applied until soil temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  I would add that there should be some decent chance that it will not go above 50.  Why is that?  The bacteria that break down nitrogen become somewhat dormant at 50 degrees. Illinois State Geological Survey shows 10 AM soil temperatures in the high 50's.  Illinois State Geological survey shows high soil temperatures are still well above 60.

4R Nutrient Management is all about choosing "the Right Nutrient Source to apply at the Right Rate in the Right Place at the Right Time."  I could not see anything right about applying Anhydrous Ammonia at this time of year.  It is too early for corn for next year.  It is not the right material for wheat for this time of year.  Wheat gets all the Nitrogen it needs to get out of the ground from DAP and residual N in the soil.  Wheat responds best to March applied Nitrogen.

If we are to avoid more regulations, our fertilizer dealers need to do better.  It looks like this dealer was just begging for regulation.  Some have called me for jumping to conclusions.  No I did not see the wagon in the field.  It is unusual to see nurse tanks moving at this time of year except to transport material to the field.


Anonymous said...
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Dave Rahe said...

Several sources told me they had seen NH3 being applied in late September and early October. you are being kind.