Fertility trials show benefits during drought

Research at Michigan State University is finding some wheat management techniques are helpful to drought-stressed crops.

Soil fertility specialist Kurt Steinke is studying different nutrient applications.

“We’ve seen some tremendous yield gains and in some cases, grain quality increases with starter fertilizer applied in the fall and that starter specifically focusing on nitrogen and sulfur,” he says.

Steinke tells Brownfield earlier, fall-planted winter wheat usually yields better.

“When you focus on that third and 4th week in September, we tend to see about a 10-bushel bump as compared to maybe a mid to late October planting,” he shares.

But, he says because last year’s fall was dry for longer than normal, there may not be a major difference this year.

Steinke estimates the state’s wheat harvest will be slightly earlier and start about the first week of July.

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