While many farmers are currently debating whether it’s best to fertilize in the fall or the spring, there are several logistical, practical and economic reasons why nutrient application in fall make more sense. PotashCorp Director of Agronomy and eKonomics contributor, Robert Mullen, Ph.D., has shared the below tips on how and why to choose fall fertilization practices.
1. Logistically more manageable: Farmers have more time, labor and equipment available in the fall.
2. Less soil compaction: In the fall, soil is typically drier, and soil is less susceptible to compaction from heavy equipment. This will provide crops with a better growing environment.
3. Ideal for deep tillage: Application prior to fall deep tillage allows fertilizer to be more evenly distributed, maximizing crops’ growth and yield potential.
4. Less runoff: Fall tends to have lower intensity rainfall events in spring, meaning a decreased chance of fertilizer investments being washed away.
5. Product availability: Depending on weather and economic conditions, there may be less intense demand for fertilizer in the fall – making it easier to acquire product.