By Stephanie Zelinko, Sales Agronomy Manager
This year is reminding us exactly how challenging farming can be. In addition to the usual market fluctuations and other challenges we have come to expect, Mother Nature handed us a spring that will be remembered for a long time. The good news is, there are resources available to help make the best management decisions for your operation in any given year. One tool available to help with decisions is research data.
With over 25 years of scientific research completed at AgroLiquid’s North Central Research Station (NCRS), in addition to countless trials through contract researchers and grower field comparisons throughout the country, no other crop fertility product is more researched.
What can research data do for you?
1. Fine tune your fertility program
Soil testing is a great way to help develop a fertility program to help ensure an economical return. Having a soil test is the first step, but understanding the results is the more critical second step in the process. How do you know where or what to cut back on when you need to make economics-based decisions? Here is where research results come into play. That extra gallon of Pro-Germinator® may give you a few extra bushels, but maybe yield is “good enough” without it. The NCRS has results on rates studies of Pro-Germinator®, Sure-K®, Micro 500® and nitrogen to help make those decisions. Research helps determine the likelihood of return on the fertilizer dollar spent.
2. In-season applications can pay
In-season applications offer a lot of flexibility to a fertility management program. It provides opportunity to cut back or upgrade a fertility program, based on the season and current crop need. As weather and markets change, in-season applications allow for the chance to capture more yield if conditions are right. This includes applications such as additional Kalibrate® or AccesS™ at sidedress on corn, or a foliar application of Sure-K® and micronutrients on soybeans, wheat or fruits and vegetables. These in-season applications delay purchasing decisions later into the season, thus helping spread out cash flow.
3. Maximize return through proper timing
The 4R’s of nutrient management have embedded in our heads that the right timing of nutrients is necessary to achieve top yield and ensure what is being applied is available for the crop when it needs it. Before planting, at planting, in-season early or late are all good options, depending on crop and growing conditions. Split applications of nutrients, especially those that are at risk of environmental loss, have shown through research to improve yield. Fertilizer is expensive; knowing the best time to apply will help make sure the dollars spent go to the crop, rather than being lost or tied-up in the soil.
4. Embrace technology
AgroLiquid is a leader in innovation. This includes the products we manufacture and sell, and also keeping up with changes in liquid fertilizer application technology. Teaming with companies like 360 Yield Center® and Precision Planting®, we put these tools to the test at the NCRS, which helps our AgroLiquid representatives and field staff make better recommendations. Keeping up with the latest technologies in fertilizer application, along with which nutrients fit them best, helps ensure the crop nutrition is being applied in the best possible way to provide a positive return.
Just as there are many decisions to make when determining which crop is most profitable, there are many factors to consider when determining how a fertilizer budget should be spent. Utilizing research from AgroLiquid will help provide you some of the background and support needed to make a more informed choice. And this part of agriculture is easy…. AgroLiquid research results from the NCRS and other sites across the country can be found on our website at research.agroliquid.com.