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Assessing Fertility After Harvest


With 39% of the Indiana corn crop harvested and harvest likely to end early this year, there will be plenty of time for fall field work which includes assessing your soil fertility needs. Ryan Piel, field agronomist with Pioneer, says it will be necessary to assess soil fertility and nitrogen levels this fall given the good yields we are seeing, “We have to plan for big crops. If we don’t put enough nitrogen out there for a big crop, we will continue to see stalk issues like we did this year.” He added that this year he is actually more worried about potassium and phosphorus levels, “We have really pulled off some high yields this year, especially in soybeans, and we need to account for that when we develop our fertilizer plan.”

In the past, coming up with a good fertilizer plan has involved a bit of guesswork. Piel says new technology can now help growers be more precise, “We can now take it down to a very scientific level.” He noted that services like Encirca can use crop removal data and other information to produce a fertilizer map.

Some of the kind of technology that will help make this possible will be on display at the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo, Dec 11-13 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.