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
Trending Articles
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Latest News
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? Califo…
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSource: ChemChina to Divest Assets to Adama Following S…
April 11, 2017
China National Chemical Corp. plans to redistribute agrochemical assets to its Adama unit after the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta Read More
Farming drone air
Eric SfiligojThe Interest in UAVs for Agriculture Grows
April 10, 2017
At times, it seems as if experts have been predicting “big things” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for several years Read More
OpinionOpinion: Taking On The Farmers Business Network
April 8, 2017
Well, another round of venture capital funding has come to Farmers Business Network (FBN), followed up with the obligatory feature Read More
Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Prote…
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision Ag6 Key Takeaways from Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
April 5, 2017
Advisory investment group The Mixing Bowl teamed up with Forbes for its New York-based event this year to discuss technology’s Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsQ&A With Pam Marrone On The World’s First All-Biolo…
April 4, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. and Israel-based Ground­work BioAg in February announced successful field trials of the world’s first all-biological comprehensive Read More
Corn soil
Crop NutritionBiostimulants Clamor For A Piece Of The Row Crop Market
April 3, 2017
The question these days isn’t who is venturing into biostimulants — it’s who isn’t. Or more to the point: The Read More