Growers across the country are continuously searching for new ways to improve their fertility programs. Up against unpredictable weather patterns and at the mercy of Mother Nature, growers are concerned about protecting their nitrogen (N) inputs. It is not only one of the most vital nutrients in modern crop production but also one of the most challenging nutrients to manage. As a result, sidedressing N on corn acres is becoming a standard practice for many growers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the N fertilizer they apply.
Rick Benjamin, Lexington operations manager for All Points Cooperative in Lexington, Neb., encourages his customers to participate in an N sidedress program.
“The value of sidedressing to the farmer in our area goes back five to six years ago, when they used to throw out all of their 32% UAN or urea needs up front. With the big rains we get, they were losing a lot,” says Benjamin. “Now we can offer this opportunity for them to throw part of it out up-front and then come back in June or mid-June and throw the other half of their nitrogen needs out later.”
Corn requires the largest amount of N during later growth stages. If N is lost early in the season, yields have the potential to suffer. Applying a sidedress application provides supplemental N the crop needs to finish out the growing season.
Whether N is applied early in the season or at sidedressing, it’s still highly susceptible to loss. In fact, up to 50 percent of applied N can be lost to leaching, volatilization and denitrification whenever it’s applied. Adding an N stabilizer, such as NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager from SFP, may help growers limit the amount of N lost to the environment. NutriSphere-N is the most advanced N fertilizer stabilizer available and is proven to protect N from all three major forms of loss.
Steven Moore, a farmer from Blakely, Ga., has seen positive results by protecting his N with NutriSphere-N.
“The reason we implemented NutriSphere-N is because I have a good bit of dryland; and sometimes when you do your sidedressing and you put your nitrogen all out, you don’t have the rain to get it in the ground,” says Moore. “The NutriSphere-N makes it more available, and it lasts longer instead of being so volatile.”
“Since I’ve been using NutriSphere-N, it seems to keep the crops greener and healthier longer,” Moore adds.
Retailers across the country are constantly looking for ways to provide value to their customers; and helping growers manage their N inputs has become key in doing so.
Gregg Anderson, Gothenburg operations manager for All Points Cooperative in Gothenburg, Neb., not only provides his customers with a custom sidedress program but also advises they protect the N they apply.
“It wasn’t even a discussion as to whether or not we were going to do this sidedress program with NutriSphere-N because we have everything here from good platte valley dirt to sand,” says Anderson. “The leach factor in the sand is huge. Customers have seen the benefits and the yields, so it just keeps growing.”
Give Your Crops An Extra Boost
Growers facing a myriad of weather and soil conditions often look to starter fertilizers to help ensure plants get off to a strong start. Starters provide various benefits to crops, including:
· Early plant growth
· More uniform plant size
· Stronger root systems
· Potential for earlier crop maturity
· The addition of a fertilizer enhancer and/or manager can help further stimulate nutrient
uptake by ensuring the nutrients in the starter solution are available for the plant to use.
During the spring, cooler temperatures and weather can wreak havoc on nutrients, making them susceptible to multiple forms of loss. Phosphorus (P) is very susceptible to being tied up or fixated in the soil. Fertilizer enhancers such as AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer from SFP can help reduce P fixation and increase P uptake by the plant.