Harvest is the time of year farmers evaluate their soil fertility. There is one aspect of soil fertility that often gets overlooked. As farmers watch their yield monitors this harvest, nitrogen levels in the soil are top of mind, especially when we see a drop if yield performance in some spots in the field. But Ryan Barham, regional manager with SFP in Indiana, says Phosphorus levels can also be a reason for yield problems in a field, “Phosphorus sometimes gets overlooked and treated as a secondary nutrient, but it is just as important to a plant’s growth and good health as nitrogen is.” He added phosphorus plays a major role in plant functions like photosynthesis and energy transfer, thus it is a major contributor to yield. If more Phosphorus can be made available for a plant, it will be healthier.
While some growers think of phosphorus application as a spring activity, Barham says fall application is really a better idea, “Fall weather conditions and time availability favor a fall application.” He said, in the spring, farmers should be focused on seed bed preparation and not phosphorus application. He adds with a fall application of phosphorus, a stabilizer like AVAIL is needed, “This will give you 10 to 12 months of protection.” In addition, Avail will help with the uptake of phosphorus by plants in the spring. Adequate amounts of phosphorus available for uptake increases yield potential, increases water use efficiency, and boosts overall plant health. In addition, AVAIL offers growers flexibility with liquid or granular solutions which have been applied on more than 50 million acres in a wide variety of crops. AVAIL protects phosphorous with a water-soluble and biodegradable shield against P fixation that leaves no environmental footprint.