Cropping Fertilizer Update

Producers are now thinking about soil fertility needs for next growing season. It is always important to soil sample to ensure you are applying the correct amounts of fertilizer, but with this past season’s drought it’s even more important!  Soil nitrates may be higher than normal this fall, especially in rain fed fields. Take soil samples and determine residual soil nitrate levels before deciding on fertilizer N application rates. Remember that soil temperature.    As I write this, soil temperatures are between 44-45 degrees in Fillmore County.)

If you have collected soil samples, you can go UNL CropWatch’s Soils page to calculate fertilizer recommendations based on your soil test results.

My colleague, Gary Zoubek reminds producers that timing is important when applying nitrogen, ideally it’s best to apply the nitrogen near the time the crop will be using it, and thus, split applications are often are the best!  You don’t want to apply it all in the fall, plan to sidedress or chemigate some on.  Often conditions are not always ideal in the spring or you do not have enough time, so we understand why some producers make applications in the fall.  We also know that if we don’t get excessive rains, we won’t move the nitrogen that’s been applied, but we’re all hoping for above normal precipitation this fall, winter and spring.

In addition, we’re always looking for producers interested in conducting On-Farm Research.  If you you’re planning to make fall anhydrous ammonia applications and would consider doing a timing study comparing fall vs. spring or sidedress,  email me at   I would be glad to work with you.

 UNL Extension’s Hort Update

The latest horticulture update explained that late October, average soil temperatures across the state ranged from 50 to 59 degrees F. Even with freezing air temperatures, root and rhizome growth can continue until soil temperatures drop below 40 degrees. Fall root growth aids drought recovery but only if adequate soil oxygen and moisture is available. Continue to provide moisture in the absence of rainfall without overwatering so soil oxygen levels are lowered due to saturated soils. Planting of deciduous trees and shrubs can also continue.

 Landlord/Tenant Workshop in Fairmont!   

This free workshop is sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board and the North Central Risk Management Agency in collaboration with our local Famers & Ranchers College committee.  A meal and handouts are included. Handouts and materials will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This program will be on November 13, 2012 at the Fairmont Legion from 11-3:00 p.m. with registration at 10:30 a.m. Please RSVP by November 6th via email at      

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