When an agronomist visits a field to diagnose a problem, it’s not unlike a doctor attempting to uncover the source of a patient’s discomfort.
With all the technology and tools available to assist in scouting efforts these days, it might be too easy to say it’s easy.
"Start with a testable research question," says Dr. Jeff Coulter, extension agronomist at the University of Minnesota. "What is your question, and can it be answered with the type of trial you have in mind?"
High seed prices, volatile commodity markets, unpredictable weather: It’s a long list of big concerns that keeps farmers up at night. It’s those concerns that make the details that drive return on investment of paramount importance. Details like micronutrients.
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.
Tissue sampling is a common tool that can provide meaningful data, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle to consider. Complementing tissue sampling with soil test results provides a comprehensive look at how nutrients are both available to and being used by the plant.
Tissue testing and plant analysis date back to the 19th century. Since that time, considerable research has been devoted to refining these tools for assisting farmers to efficiently manage crops
Izaak Rathke is no stranger to competition, and one of his main goals as Director of Sales for Allied Cooperative in Western Wisconsin is to keep his customers competitive in the world of row crop agriculture.
Fine-tuning your soil fertility approach might start with understanding what the crop is feeling when it’s feeling it.
It can be tough to decide which inputs to invest in, but making solid crop nutrition decisions in advance plays a big role in pushing yield for the next growing season. Here are a few tips from Dr. Kyle Freeman, director of New Product Development, to consider when making a fertilizer purchase decision.