A Perfect Storm for Nutrient Deficiencies


High crop yields this year and last year have brought along high nutrient removal.  “That can set us up for the perfect storm,” Curt Woolfolk with the Mosaic Company says, “for nutrient deficiencies in the field.”
How do you know what is in your soil?  During an interview with Northern Ag Network, Woolfolk encouraged growers to take soil samples every other year if not every year.  Another suggestion from the agronomist was to move from a composite soil sampling system to soil sampling by management zones.
Along with your soil test results for the majors (phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen), more than ever, Woolfolk says it is really important to take inventories on your micronutrients.  
According to Mosaic, as much as 60{28d451f77a4de8a52cd2586be6cc1800527fe70ea84e8b3f90098495d088e086} of yield is dependent on soil fertility.  This is why Woolfolk encouraged everyone to visit www.CropNutrition.com to learn more about the nutrients in the soil and what the repercussions of slacking in any one area could mean.
He also emphasized the importance of knowing what level of nutrients any given crop takes from the soil.  For example, CropNutrition.com reports that a wheat crop yielding 80 bushels per acre removes roughly 176 pounds of nitrogen per acre.
According to Mosaic, using a framework to connect fertilizer management to science is an essential best management practice.  Best fertilizer management practices contribute to four objectives: productivity, profitability, sustainability, and environmental health.



© Northern Ag Network 2014

Haylie Shipp

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