Corn prices are low and many producers are asking tough questions about their nutrient management programs. Here are some suggestions being given to farmers for keeping fertilizer bills as low as possible without compromising income-generating yield.
Use the most effective fertilizer technologies available. Fertilizer technologies have come a long way. Look over options with your crop adviser. Nitrification inhibitors, urease inhibitors, and controlled release fertilizers are just some of the options available. Be sure to research these products thoroughly and examine university research that tests their efficacy. There are situations where these products provide an advantage. Know the conditions under which they have the best chances of making a difference.
Allocate money to the right nutrients. In times like these, many emphasize that N needs must come first. Before jumping to this conclusion, soil test levels of a field or field area must be examined. If the soil lacks other nutrients, crop response to N alone will be limited. If recommended rates of each nutrient cannot be afforded, it is best to band at least low rates of P and K near the seed as part of the N fertilization program. This balanced approach will maximize the effectiveness of all applied nutrients.