Knowledge Center | Koch Agronomic Services
Knowledge Center | Koch Agronomic Services
How to Optimize Nitrogen Applications During Dry Conditions
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Each year, you put a lot of thought into your operation. Preparing your fields, planning what seed to plant and cultivating your crops with the hopes of getting the most yield potential. But dry conditions during the growing season can put a crimp in those plans.
Nitrogen Loss and Dry Soil

“Weather conditions might have you rethinking your usual nitrogen management plan, and that’s okay,” said Tim Laatsch, director of North America agronomy for Koch Agronomic Services (Koch). “The nitrogen management plan you utilized last year might not be the best fit for your fields this season. That’s especially true if you’re living in an area that saw excessive, unexpected moisture the last couple years and now drier than normal conditions are staring you in the face.”

Warm temperatures combined with lack of incorporating rainfall can increase risk for nitrogen loss to volatilization. But if the weather’s taught us anything, it’s that it can’t be trusted. Too much rain or not enough — we can’t always plan for the unexpected. But we can protect ourselves against it by following the best practices set forth by the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship. 

Best Yields Follow Best Practices

Growers who follow the 4Rs (selecting the RIGHT source of fertilizer, applying it at the RIGHT rate, at the RIGHT time and in the RIGHT place) would tell you that your best chance at reaching optimal yields is by making the right choices. One of those choices might be incorporating a product like SUPERU® premium fertilizer into your nitrogen management plan.

SUPERU utilizes both urease and nitrification inhibitors to protect against all three forms of nitrogen loss (volatilization, leaching and denitrification). So no matter what curveball the weather throws, you’re protected.

Efficiency in the Field

With the weather often compressing the “RIGHT time” for application, it’s especially important to consider an effective fertilizer that comes with operational efficiencies. SUPERU comes with the highest concentration (46%) of nitrogen available as a finished, ready-to-use, stabilized fertilizer that protects against all three forms of nitrogen loss. And as a dry, finished product, SUPERU maximizes efficiency by not gumming up equipment. The uniformity and prill quality of SUPERU allows for higher fan speeds, resulting in wider spread patterns — all saving you valuable time.

“SUPERU spreads really well,” says Eldon Hemberger, a new SUPERU user in Kansas who was happy with the operational efficiencies he experienced with his milo crop last year. “The spread pattern is clean, so you know it’s going down evenly on your field.”

Joseph Moore, fertilizer manager for Gibson Farmer’s Co-op in Trenton, Tenn., has seen the efficacy of SUPERU firsthand and agrees. “Compared to what we used to put down, there was so much variance in the spread pattern,” he says. “Our old product could fling 80 feet there and 60 feet here and cause some streaking. But with SUPERU, it was consistent across the board.”

A 2017 University of Tennessee study showed that SUPERU consistently outperformed ContaiN across different conditions. When the weather favored denitrification (eight inches of rainfall within two months after fertilizer application), SUPERU outperformed the competitor by 11 bushels per acre. And in ideal conditions for volatilization (warm temperature with no rain for five days after fertilizer application), SUPERU produced 15 more bushels per acre1.

Prepare your response to dry conditions today with SUPERU and protect your operation’s investment against all three forms of nitrogen loss. For more information on SUPERU, contact your KAS representative.

1The underlying data was provided by University of Missouri and University of Tennessee under a Research Trial Financial Support Agreement with Koch Agronomic Services, LLC and neither University of Missouri, University of Tennessee nor the individual researchers referenced, endorse or recommend any product or service. ContaiN is a registered trademark of AgXplore.

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