The International Plant Nutrition Institute published timely insights into fertilizer use in their seasonal series “Plant Nutrition Today”. Selected articles from that series have been added to the “Implement the 4Rs” section of nutrientstewardship.org. “Implement the 4Rs” provides information about fertilizer best management practices to help educate the grower, the service provider, the public and other stakeholders about 4R nutrient management. The following articles have been added.
Placing Fertilizer with the Seed (by Dr. Mike Stewart) – Placing fertilizer in-furrow with the seed during planting is a common practice in small grain production and to some extent in row crop production. Placing fertilizer with the seed can be an effective and beneficial management practice, but over application and mismanagement can result in seedling damage, and ultimate stand and yield loss. The type of crop, fertilizer source, row spacing, and soil environment all affect how much fertilizer can be safely applied with seed.
Nitrogen Loss Pathways – Which is Yours? (by Dr. Cliff Snyder) – The well-known poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”, kindles our imagination about the richness of life gained by taking the less traveled paths. While it may seem a far reach, this “less traveled path” metaphor also pertains to you and the N nutrition of your plants; whether you are a professional turf or crop manager, or a hobby horticulturalist. Greater fertilizer N costs and knowledge of the environmental impacts of N losses are driving us all toward better N stewardship. Weather, or the lack of its control, hinders us from perfect N management. But weather variability should not prevent us from striving for lower losses down the “more traveled N loss pathways”.
Do High Yielding Soybeans Need to be Fertilized with Nitrogen? (by Dr. Scott Murrell) – Are higher yielding soybeans running short on N? Do they need additional N fertilizer to ensure they are properly fed? Recently, a group of scientists at University of Nebraska examined 108 published scientific studies on this topic to see if any trends could be discovered. Soybean yields in the studies ranged from 9 to 88 bu/A, and averaged 40 bu/A. Here are a few of their findings.
Spring Nitrogen Planning for Optimizing Winter Wheat Production (by Dr. Steve Phillips) – To optimize wheat production, the right fertilizer plan is needed in the spring. Wheat acreage in the Southeast rose again in 2012. Following a significant increase in acreage from 2010 to 2011, the 2012 crop was up another 8% to 4.7 million acres. This is the highest planted area in the region in the past five years. The Southeast is not known as a major wheat producing region, but yield potentials are good with good management, averaging 63 bu/A across the region.