February 7, 2019. We cannot talk about nitrogen and timing and such without talking about our “one big application.” For some of you that is fall anhydrous, for others it is spring anhydrous or spring UAN. But for many of you out there, you have an application of Nitrogen that is 100 lbs. per acre or more at a single application. Now, there are a few basics that we need to cover before we go any further.
First and foremost, I want to put into black and white that I do not want to see fall anhydrous go away. The logistics of it are too important for you all as growers and my company as a dealer. I can say with a lot of certainty that the US fertilizer market is not prepared to switch those tons to spring tons because of our delivery systems. And even if they could, it would reset prices in the market, again due to logistics. But, given all of that, I think that we need to consider moving some of those pounds to another time of year.
My rule, well to be fair it isn’t my rule, but I live by it, of no more that 10X your CEC at any one time of Nitrogen pounds is accurate, but also needs to have context. Your soils Cation Exchange Capacity gives us a place to store Nitrogen, but realize that doesn’t mean that all of your Nitrogen has a safe place to be stored right away. Your soils cation exchange sites have other cations there competing for those spots as well, and it is not a foregone conclusion that just because the rule says it should be safe, it will be safe.
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