7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #2 Analysis and Interpretation

The nature of ag production is in a constant state of flux, owing to greater productivity in the field and steady global pressure for food and fiber. Growers’ successful navigation through this complex world routinely hinges on the expertise of their ag retailer.

The crop fertility practices retailers recommend, based on soil sample results, can either drive production forward or put a damper on yields. Fertilizer is a sizeable investment. Correct analysis and interpretation of soil sample results on the retail level ensures that every dollar invested in crop nutrients counts.

According to Gary Tuxhorn, technical agronomist for United Suppliers, retailers have the advantage of seeing the bigger picture because of the immense amount of local and national data at their disposal. One of the biggest challenges with analysis and interpretation is the variation of soil fertility by region and from state to state. Local fertilizer trials can be an invaluable resource for retailers and growers when narrowing down fertility recommendations to fit local conditions.

“A good soil analysis starts with a properly taken soil sample,” says Craig Struve of Midwest Independent Soil Samplers LLC in Calumet, Iowa. “Agronomic service providers must be able to explain to their clients what a quality soil sample is, as well as how and why there can be variability of numeric soil test values between soil sample periods. The grower needs to understand, for example, that the soil value for K could be 190ppm one year and four years later be 150ppm and still be considered optimum.”

Will the 2012 drought be an obstacle for correct analysis of soil sample results in 2013? Not if agronomists make allowances for special considerations such as crop removal and depleted nutrient supplies. According to Tuxhorn, phosphorus, potassium and zinc levels averaged 15% lower for the fall of 2012 than they would have in a normal year. Growers and retailers have to factor this knowledge in for correct interpretation.

“The complexity of agriculture has the producer looking for solutions and problem solvers,” says Struve. “The opportunity for agronomy service providers has never been better or more important.”

Grower Input is Critical for Correct Analysis

While soil sample results are imperative to fertilizer recommendations, grower input is also key to making the best selection. Here are a few questions that ag retailers can ask to help make a more informed decision with growers.

  1. What are your goals for this field?
  2. Do I have your yield files yet? What specific crop history should I be aware of?
  3. Will your crop rotation stay the same?
  4. Will you or have you applied any animal derived nutrients?
  5. What are you using for tillage equipment? Are there any changes coming?
  6. Are there specific problems we should discuss?
  7. If you rent your land, is the landowner aware you are sampling their land? Are they aware of the crop inputs you are using?
  8. Are you removing crop residue?

To learn more about making better farm management decisions, visit www.potashcorp-ekonomics.com

Sponsored by PotashCorp

About The Series

The fertility program is at the heart of a comprehensive cropping plan, and at the center of influence in the relationship between ag retailers and grower-customers. The CropLife 100 Retailers survey data as compiled in 2012 reported that in aggregate, 55% of crop input an service revenue was generated from the sale of fertilizer.

Not surprisingly, the selling and application of fertilizer attracts the lion’s share of attention from retail management. Effective management of fertilizer on behalf of growers requires a full understanding of field and crop needs, as well as the many factors that drive top-level production. Retailers must also be cognizant of proper stewardship, working to ensure that every pound of nutrient applied is maximized, with as little waste as possible.

To highlight the important aspects of fertilizer management programs, CropLife magazine and sponsor PotashCorp are pleased to present the Seven Keys to Delivering Effective Fertility Programs.

Leave a Reply

7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs Stories

7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #7 Scorecarding
November 1, 2013
Scorecarding, in the agricultural sense, is a way to evaluate management practices on your farm. In essence, you examine the Read More
7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #6 Yield Data
October 1, 2013
Using yield/harvest data to determine if a fertility program is successful is a tricky business. Answers aren’t always apparent. A Read More
7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #5 In-Season Scouting
September 1, 2013
A solid integrated pest management (ipm) program wouldn’t be nearly as valuable without a consistent in-season scouting program at its Read More
7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #4 Application and Data Recording
August 1, 2013
One-size-fits-all fertilizer applications are quickly becoming relics of the past as they move over to make way for the site-specific Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100United Cooperative Acquires Four ADM Wisconsin Facilities
November 12, 2015
United Cooperative, based out of Beaver Dam, WI, recently acquired four grain and agronomy locations from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Car Makes NASCAR Xfinity Series
October 29, 2015
BRANDT will join JR Motorsports with driver, Justin Allgaier, for the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity (NXS) Series season. Allgaier will pilot Read More
CHS Building exterior
CropLife 100CHS Leaders Help Shape Succession Report
October 22, 2015
Succession planning was listed as a main concern of cooperative leaders at this summer’s 15 regional CHS owner town hall Read More
Fall Harvest
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases Eight Regional Seed Companies
October 12, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has announced the purchase of eight regional seed companies to advance its seed business. Pinnacle has acquired: Read More
MRM Agricultural Service
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires CropLife 100 Ag Retailer
October 8, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has successfully acquired the Missouri-based agronomy business of MRM Agricultural Service, LLC and its affiliates (MRM). Operating Read More
Eric Jenks, Wilbur-Ellis
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Opens Dry Fertilizer Storage And Blending Facility In Washington
October 8, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co., ranked No. 4 on the CropLife 100, has constructed and opened a 22,000-ton dry fertilizer storage and blending Read More
Latest News
HerbicidesBREAKING: EPA Pulls Registration On Dow’s Enlist …
November 25, 2015
EPA on Wednesday withdrew approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans, Read More
FertilizerYara Tampa Ammonia Terminal Garners ResponsibleAg Honor…
November 25, 2015
Yara has received its first ResponsibleAg Certification for its Tampa, FL, Ammonia terminal location. This achievement demonstrates Yara’s commitment to Read More
ManagementReviewing The Top Ag Stories For 2015
November 24, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf discuss the most noteworthy events from this past year in agriculture. Read More
EmployeesAgriculture Jobs May Be Plentiful, But New Grads Are Sc…
November 24, 2015
Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture each year for the next five years, but there's not enough grads to fill them. Read More
Radish cover crop
StewardshipCover Crops Guide Helps Growers Improve Water Quality
November 23, 2015
A publication that teaches growers the advantages of using cover crops to improve soil health and crop yields has won Read More
Crop InputsThe Andersons’ Products Receive California Organi…
November 23, 2015
The Plant Nutrient Group of The Andersons, Inc. announced today that its Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG products are Read More
Eric SfiligojNew European Study Seems To Support Glyphosate Safety
November 23, 2015
Looking at any international news over the past few years, it might seem as if the European Union (EU) is Read More
Toggle Biostimulant corn roots
Crop InputsTwo New Biostimulants Added To United Suppliers’ …
November 20, 2015
Winfield US announces the launch of two new products in the United Suppliers portfolio for the 2016 crop season, Optify Read More
StewardshipNRDC Report: Cover Crops Contain Vast Benefits
November 19, 2015
As harvest season ends and farmers in the United States ready themselves for winter, one small change could make a Read More
Fall Harvest
Seed/BiotechArysta Launches New Seed Protectant
November 19, 2015
As spring wheat growers begin planning for a strong start to their season, Arysta LifeScience North America announces RANCONA V Read More
Crop InputsInocucor Receives U.S. Patent For Microbials
November 19, 2015
Inocucor Technologies Inc., the Montreal-based agriculture biotech company, was issued patent No. 9,175,258 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Read More
ManagementSyngenta Rumors and ARA 2015 Preview
November 19, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj looks at the latest rumors involving Syngenta selling its crop protection business and talks about events Read More
EquipmentAGCO Announces Finalists For Operator Of The Year Honor
November 19, 2015
AGCO Corp. has announced the four top operators chosen as finalists for AGCO’s 10th Annual Operator of the Year program, Read More
High Plains Aquifer
StewardshipStudy: High Plains Aquifer Overall Usage In Decline
November 18, 2015
A new Kansas State University study finds that the over-tapping of the High Plains Aquifer’s groundwater beyond the aquifer’s recharge Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
FungicidesArysta Launches New Corn And Soybean Fungicide
November 17, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America has recently launched ZOLERA FX Fungicide. The highly systemic, powerful fungicide delivers broad-spectrum disease control with Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance: Microbials Targeted For 250-500 million…
November 17, 2015
Monsanto and Novozymes have announced a new 2025 acreage target that will guide the companies’ microbials business for the next Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Still Being Eyed For China Takeover
November 16, 2015
China National Chemical Corp. approached sovereign wealth funds including China Investment Corp. to help pay for a potential acquisition of Read More
Cedar Country Cooperative
Eric SfiligojCooperative Consolidation Continues
November 16, 2015
As I put this enewsletter column together, we’ve just put the finishing touches on our magazine’s annual CropLife 100 report. Read More