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Wet Spring Will Sap Nitrogen

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Wet Spring Will Sap Nitrogen

Bret Minett

We begin another week with wet soil across Indiana. As a result nitrogen, loss may be accelerated. With corn yields being down last year, many growers were hoping there might be some residual nitrogen in the soil to help with this year’s crop. But thanks to a wet winter and spring that is not likely the case, according to Brant Minett with Becks Hybrids, “I am not so sure there is much nitrogen left, certainly in the nitrate form which is the form the plant most readily uses. This is also the form that most quickly goes away under wet conditions.”  He said growers should not make an assumption, but rather test their fields this spring.

 

Minett warns, if you did a soil test last fall, the results may be much different than what you would find this spring, “If a guy has not done a test this spring, his test results from last fall are not very meaningful.”  At some Beck’s PFR sites last fall, tests showed considerable nitrogen remaining in the soil, but tests this spring have shown very little is left.”

 

He warns that growers should not cut back on starter fertilizer this spring, even if they feel they have a good supply of N in the soil, “We also use starter fertilizer as a vehicle for some of our micro nutrients like sulfur, magnesium, and zinc; so if guys cut back on the starter, it might hurt his delivery of those micro nutrients.” More recommendations at the Beck’s web site.