Harvest will likely be rushed this year as a result of the planting delays this spring. This means a shorter window in which to gather crops and prepare fields for next year. With this time crunch, your customers may overlook or forget some basic best practices for fall operations. In the case of nitrogen application, these best practices can make the difference between a boosted 2020 yield and loss of this valuable input.
With that in mind, if soil conditions and weather allow for fall applications on your customers’ fields, now is a good time to review best practices to maximize nitrogen-related success.
Fall application best practices
When it comes to fall application, there are several do’s and don’ts to consider.
- Apply only anhydrous ammonia or manure fertilizer in fall.
- Apply after Oct. 1, but only if temperatures are cool enough.
- Apply to soil that is 50 F 4 inches below the surface. You want soil that is 50 F, or lower, but not freezing.
- For clay soils, apply half the nitrogen in fall and half in spring.
- Don’t apply if it’s raining.
- Don’t apply to sandy soils or in fields prone to spring flooding.
- Don’t apply if the ground is frozen; the nutrients won’t absorb.
Most of all, be sure to apply a nitrogen stabilizer
Nitrogen has a long time to wait between fall application and spring crop uptake, so you’ll want to protect it with a nitrogen stabilizer to ensure it’s still in the soil come spring. A nitrogen stabilizer, such as N-Serve® for anhydrous ammonia and Instinct® for liquid manure, protects fall-applied nitrogen from leaching and denitrification in warming spring soils. This is important because it keeps nitrogen in the root zone during critical crop growth periods and doesn’t leave your farmers’ costly investment vulnerable to loss.
In all, adhering to these best practices can help postharvest nitrogen application be a success and can help maximize 2020 yield goals.
Visit NitrogenMaximizers.com to learn more about protecting farmers’ nutrient investments this fall. While there, you can also use the Profit Calculator to see how N-Serve and Instinct can impact your bottom line come harvest.