While these actions are critical to a successful operation, taking a step back to understand how your crop performed and evaluating future nutrient needs plays a significant role in the coming year’s foundation for success.
What Should I Be Evaluating?
Drought and dry conditions across the United States may have affected yields, while in other regions some may have seen record setting yields this year. Regardless of where yield netted out, there’s always a level of nutrient removal from the soil that needs to be considered to achieve the highest yield potential for the next season.
As you begin building your nutrient management strategy, looking at nutrient removal based on crop, yield goals and evaluating yield maps will help you better craft a plan for next year's crop.
Should I Have Used Micronutrients?
Your evaluation of the metrics mentioned above should give you an indication of what may have been a limiting factor for your crops this past season from a nutrient perspective and what needs to be supplied for the next year.
While used in smaller quantities relative to macronutrients, micronutrients can still be a risk factor when it comes to optimizing yields. How do we know this? Liebig’s Law of Minimum. More commonly known as Liebig’s Barrel, which is a concept that tells us the shortest stave in a barrel represents the least available nutrient. The shortest stave limits the total a barrel can hold, which translates to the least available nutrient limits yield potential.
Bottom line: when considering limiting factors, if you don’t utilize micronutrients, you could be missing out on critical yield.
Building a Plan for Next Year's Crop
As part of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship, growers should also be evaluating the right source of nutrients in combination with the right rate, timing and place. Finding a solution that not only provides the critical nutrients for crops but can also offer growers an effective strategy to achieve cropping system goals can be the difference you need.
A solution such as WOLF TRAX® DDP® micronutrients, featuring EvenCoat® technology, provides complete coverage and ensures the adhesion of micronutrients to the entire surface of dry fertilizer granules. The uniform coating ensures micronutrients are evenly distributed across the field and placed in closer proximity to growing roots for increased potential of nutrient uptake for continuous feeding during critical growth stages.
Having this information in your back pocket, should better inform your decisions as you build a nutrient management strategy for spring.
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