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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fall Nitrogen Management

Suppliers and farmers alike seem to like the idea of fall nitrogen application.  I saw a post yesterday that soil temperatures in Mid-Illinois are at 50 degrees making fall nitrogen application seem like  a good idea.  Keep in mind that soil temperatures can vary as much as 10 degrees depending on bare soil or covered soil.  I suggest checking each field at a 4 inch depth before applying.  The Illinois Water Survey posts temperatures daily.

Last fall November soil temperatures were favorable for applying nitrogen.  Then in December we warmed up.  by April, I started nitrogen testing and found that most people had lost half of their fall applied nitrogen.  If you insist on fall application, be sure to use nitrification inhibitors.  Split applications are a better idea than applying all at once.

No-till Farmer published a list out of Illinois of 10 Practices for cutting tile nitrate loads.  Tile is only one way that nitrogen is lost.

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