Take another look at soil fertility

Farmers facing high fertilizer costs are encouraged to take another look at soil fertility.

Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Angie Rieck-Hinz says if fertilizer wasn’t applied last fall, some tough decisions have to be made.

“Probably the conversation I have most with everybody is I kind of want to see their soil test and see where they are at least in terms of P and K, and see if we can manage that with less from an application rate or maybe just replacing the removal rate from some of our outstanding crops last year.”

She says skipping a year could also be an option.

For farmers planning to side-dress nitrogen this summer.

“We can certainly look at using our late-spring nitrate test to see where our nitrogen levels are. We haven’t lost a lot of nitrogen if we applied nitrogen last fall because we haven’t been very wet and we haven’t flushed a lot of nitrogen. So we have that going for us.”

Rieck-Hinz tells Brownfield she’s also getting calls about offsetting nitrogen fertilizer costs with biologicals or manure.

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