Nitrogen is one of the most limiting nutrients in crops. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nitrogen management, the following tips should be considered to maximize your nitrogen investment:
1. Don’t guess how much N is left: Conduct a soil test to see which nutrients are present in your soil. A proper soil test will help ensure the application of enough fertilizer to meet the requirements of the crop while taking advantage of the nutrients already present in the soil.
2. Determine your expected yield: Many crop management decisions require farmers to estimate their expected crop yield, including calculating the appropriate amount of N to apply.
3. Consult an agronomist: An agronomist can take the results from your soil test, combined with your expected yield, to create a nitrogen management plan tailored to your crops needs. Questions about your current nitrogen plan? Ask an agronomist.
4. Implement the 4R’s: Right rate, right time, right source and right place all help to optimize your nitrogen management plan and improve agricultural productivity while also minimizing environmental impact.
5. Focus on early fertility: If a plant starts out poorly it is difficult to get it back on track. Placing nutrients where the young seedling can access them will ensure that the plant will have better access to the nutrients when it needs them.
6. Consider a controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer: Controlled-release fertilizers can make it easier to apply nitrogen without worrying about N loss due to adverse weather conditions. Widen your application window and reduce the need for multiple fertilizer applications – ESN Smart Nitrogen safeguards your N until it’s needed by the crop, releasing nitrogen when the crop needs it most. This protects the surrounding environment by greatly reducing leaching, volatilization and denitrification.