1)      Soil testing is the most important step in planning for a profitable 2013 crop!

a)      This year’s variable grain yields have caused more variable nutrient levels

b)      Nitrate levels are also coming back higher than recent years

 

2)      Here is what you need to do:

a)      Soil test!

i)        You don’t know how much fertilizer to apply unless a field is sampled

(1)   You cannot afford to over-fertilize and waste high priced fertilizer

(2)   You cannot afford to under-fertilize and give up yield

 

b)      Sample NOW, in the fall, to get:

i)        Better samples

ii)      Quicker turnaround

iii)    More consistent results

 

c)      Consider zone sampling, to manage the increased nutrient variability

 

d)      Take legume, manure or beet-top credits

 

e)      Increase the efficiency of the N applied:

i)        Minimize N losses (volatilization, leaching, denitrification)

ii)      Wait until soil temperature reaches 50 F at a depth of 4 inches (and stays there)

iii)    Spring applied N is more efficient

iv)    Split applications of nitrogen are more efficient