Spring Nitrogen Needs

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    With unpredictable weather, it's easy to second-guess nitrogen decisions. Click through the slideshow to see some tips and recommendations on how to manage your nitrogen needs in 2014.

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    Late spring
    Is a late spring resulting in a compressed workload? John Sawyer, Iowa State Extension fertility specialist, recommends fertilizing before planting, if it won’t delay planting. Otherwise, he recommends sidedressing or mid- to late-spring applications. Read more.

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    Don't run short of N in a wet year.
    That's the main fertility message of Peter Scharf, Extension nutrient-management specialist at the University of Missouri. “How to do that is not necessarily straightforward and easy. If you get a lot of rain, make sure you check your fields,” he says. He recommends applying more if you have a visual shortage.

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    Nitrification inhibitor tips

    Nitrogen applied in the fall or early spring has higher potential for N loss than late-spring applications. “With spring applications, you are closer to planting, so you may or may not see the benefit; it’s a risk-management strategy,” says Fernandez. Read more.

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    Adjust application timing

    Brad Dorsey evaluated his nitrogen use by participating in Beck’s Hybrids Practical Farm Research program last year. Applying nitrogen at the V10 stage saved him $56 per acre. “I’m going to have to be able to produce more corn with less N, and this is something that’s going to allow me to tweak my N program,” says Dorsey. Read more. 

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    New Products for 2014
    The nitrogen advisor, by The Climate Corporation, helps farmers to more effectively track crop available nitrogen and obtain information like sidedressing recommendations.
    “It anticipates problems like nitrogen deficiency before it cuts yield,” says Jim Ethington, vice president-product for The Climate Corporation. Read more.

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    Managing nitrogen applications on a real-time basis

    Decision Agriculture Services (by DuPont) is providing enhanced soil maps that build on public soil survey data to help you make timely decisions to more sustainably improve yields and per-acre income.  Read more.

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    Calculating nitrogen rates

    Use the corn nitrogen rate calculator, by Iowa State University, to calculate the economic return to nitrogen applications with different nitrogen and corn prices. Or, try the MRTN calculator app, created by the University of Illinois, to calculate a custom nitrogen rate.

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    Need to know how the weather is going to affect your nitrogen application timing? Find the forecast here.

Tips and recommendations to help with spring nitrogen applications.

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