Phosphorus (P) fertilizer is often added to cropping systems to increase yield, but growers should not overlook the importance of micronutrients like Zinc (Zn). Understanding some of the nutrient interactions that affect nutrient availability can help with management decisions like fertilizer source.
Magnesium (Mg) is one of three secondary macronutrients, along with calcium and sulfur, required for balanced crop nutrition. Often overlooked, Mg deficiencies can lead to reduced crop growth and yield.
In the mid-1970s, Dr. Robert Westerman banded 18-46-0 with wheat at planting in a low-pH soil near Haskell, Oklahoma. The impact was immediately evident. Soon after, Oklahoma State University published an extension brochure titled “Banding Phosphate in Wheat: A Temporary Alternative to Liming” (Figure 1). This method was a temporary solution for the significant amount of Oklahoma winter wheat that was either too far from a reliable lime source or under a short-term-lease contract.
It’s important that producers not overreact to lower crop prices for wheat by cutting back this fall on phosphate fertilizer if it is needed. Wheat is a highly responsive crop to phosphate fertilizers. At low soil test levels, good profits can be made by using the right rate of phosphorus applied at the right time and in the right manner.
Whether you are growing wheat, canola or corn, you can set the stage for a healthy growing season and maximum yield with early-season treatments and starter fertilizer.
Record yields equal record removal of nutrients and should indicate a need for record soil nutrient replenishment.
The CPS location Lance Loveless works for, located just 4 miles south of Delphi, Indiana, and about 25 miles northeast of Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, is in an area ripe with productivity for many corn and soybean farmers. The area is also home to a diverse farming community, with farmers ranging from the 200-acre hobby farmer who works in town to the 9,000-acre farmer whose farm is his business, along with a number of large pork producers.
High crop yields often come under scrutiny because of the fertilizer levels needed to produce such yields and because of the perception and reality of the potential environmental impacts of those inputs.
The oxidation of elemental sulfur (S⁰) to sulfate sulfur (SO₄) in soil is a biological process and is carried out by several kinds of microorganisms. The rate at which this conversion takes place is determined by three main factors:
1. the microbiological population of the soil;
2. the physical properties of the S⁰ source; and
3. the environmental conditions in the soil.
One of the micronutrients essential for crop health also happens to be one of the most deficient in agriculture: boron (B).
Reduced tillage systems teamed with surface applications of fertilizer phosphorus (P) often results in an accumulation of P in the surface soil and depletion of available P deeper in the soil profile. Research workers at the University of Kentucky and Kansas State University conducted a three-year study of tillage and P nutrient management on soils with a stratified level of available P. Four P management methods were studied with three tillage systems.