Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Maximizing Winter Wheat Top-Dress Investment
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Growers should soon be planning their winter top-dress applications. While crop progress and weather conditions vary, the 4Rs of fertilizer application pertain across the wheat belt.

Right Rate: Optimal nitrogen rate varies by region and by field. There are many tools available to help determine the optimal rate of nitrogen, one of the most important being the experience and knowledge at the farm and retailer levels. Other tools include soil profile nitrate samples and crop canopy sensors that can be used to develop variable rate nitrogen recommendations. No matter what tool or method used, it is important to remember the closer the application rate is to the optimum nitrogen rate, the more critical it becomes to protect the applied nitrogen.

Right Source: Top-dress applications are typically surface-applied, whether a grower uses urea or UAN. Treating with ANVOL® nitrogen stabilizer can help protect yield and ROI against losses to volatilization. For operations that are subject to above- and below- losses, SUPERU® fertilizer, an incorporated urea granule may be the ideal option for that grower. 

Right Timing: Evaluation of the stand and growing conditions should be conducted before the green-up stage, to help determine proper timing of spring nitrogen applications. If stand and tiller densities are adequate, nitrogen applications should be made closer to the jointing stage. If stand and tiller densities are low, some nitrogen should be applied at green up to stimulate tiller development. No matter the choice of application timing, the goal is to have adequate nitrogen available during the highest rate of nitrogen uptake, which is between jointing and flowering. By treating your nitrogen source growers can have protection even if moisture is delayed. 

Right Rate: As growers focus in on winter top-dress applications, it’s important to remember proper rates for stabilizers to effectively protect a growers’ nitrogen investment.

To learn more about maximizing a winter wheat top-dress application contact your KAS representative or find a rep here.

The guidelines for the 4R principles are endorsed and supported by the International Plant Nutrition Institute, The Fertilizer Institute, The Canadian Fertilizer Institute, and the International Fertilizer Industry Association. Learn more at:

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As you plan for the next growing season, fluctuating commodity prices may have you looking at your expenses. In order to manage tighter margins, you could even be tempted to cut input costs but it may end up hurting your bottom line.
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