While soybeans were introduced to the United States in the late 1800s as a forage source for cattle, it wasn't until 1935 that the number of acres for soybean grain exceeded forage-based acres. This milestone marked the beginning of a new era in soybean production, which has influenced the fertility needs of soybeans.
Corn growers need balanced crop nutrition to maximize a corn crop's yield potential and get the most out of their fertilizer investment. In practice, this requires making all of the required nutrients available to the corn crop at the right time.
Record yields equal record removal of nutrients and should indicate a need for record soil nutrient replenishment.
The 4R program still is and will continue to be a very important program for the crop nutrition industry.
States and tribal agencies have had the responsibility in the USA to establish nutrient criteria for water quality protection, based on the Clean Water Act. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 10,000 nutrient and nutrient-related water quality impairments have been listed across 49 states. Some states and tribes have made progress in moving from “narrative” nutrient criteria to “numeric” criteria for protecting surface water resources, while others have faced more challenges.
One of the social requirements of farming today is to run a sustainable business. But that doesn’t mean science should fall by the wayside. Just the opposite, in fact.
Every January, millions of resolutions are made to eat healthier, get organized, or stop bad habits. But New Year’s resolutions can be made on the farm, too – especially when it comes to improving your soil fertility.
The principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship require scientific support for the choice of practices that deliver the right source of nutrients at the right rate, time and place. The science needs to test these practices for their outcomes in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The right time to take soil samples is in rhythm with the crop rotation. Normally it’s best to sample following back-to-back plantings of the same crop, which creates a consistent basis for comparing fields and picking out trends over time. Most samples are taken in late summer and fall to allow ample time for planning a crop nutrition program based on the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship — applying the right nutrient source, at the right rate, time and place. But, in a drought, is fall sampling still a good idea? Yes. And the facts support it.
A thorough understanding of spatial variability in agricultural fields can influence many aspects of nutrient management. Whether it’s what nutrient source to apply, what rate to use, when to make the fertilizer application or what placement method to employ, understanding spatial variability can help growers, advisers, industry and policymakers contribute to more efficient and effective fertilizer management.
When it comes to the 4Rs of crop nutrition (right source, right rate, right time, right place), many farmers focus most of their attention on right rate. The 4Rs should be thought of as a system that intertwines and works together to create a well-managed crop nutrition program. Four International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) experts offer helpful insights to better achieve each R.
The Mosaic Company is committed to helping reduce the amount of agricultural phosphate nutrients in the water, while balancing the essential need for phosphorus fertilizer in crop production. When properly managed, fertilizer provides economic, environmental and social benefits. Mosaic also supports retailers’ and growers’ efforts to apply 4R Nutrient Stewardship through science-based and field-specific fertilizer use and partners with industry associations, conservation groups and environmentally focused organizations whose work supports increased soil health, improved nutrient stewardship and crop production innovation.