The ups and downs in the price of fertilizer over the last year, has many producers wondering what they should plan for in 2007. When fertilizer prices are fluctuating, the key to maximizing profitability is to make sure you credit all nitrogen sources, and to apply nitrogen on a timely basis to maximize fertilizer recovery, says Gary Hergert, extension soils specialist, at the University of Nebraska. Knowing your soil test level of phosphorus is also essential.

Hergert provides the following tips to help keep your crop production profitable:

  • Credit residual soil nitrate-N.
  • Set realistic yield goals.
  • Credit nitrogen from previous crop residue or legume crops.
  • Credit manure sources properly.
  • Credit nitrogen released from soil organic matter.
  • Improve nitrogen use efficiency with timing of application.
  • Know your soil P, K and Zn levels.

For more information on this topic from the latest UNL Crop Watch bulletin, go to: http://cropwatch.unl.edu/archives/2006/crop23/fertilizertips.htm

Crop Watch, Ag Professional