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
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unification Approved By Board, Still Awaits Member Approval
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
Latest News
ManagementA New Sprayer Company & UAV Research In The Spotlig…
May 21, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a Dutch sprayer manufacturer entering the U.S. with a super-sized entry and Read More
HerbicidesFirst U.S. Sale Of Enlist Duo Herbicide Made By Dow Agr…
May 21, 2015
Dow AgroSciences has recorded the first U.S. sale of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. This marks the first commercial Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manu…
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
EquipmentNORAC Options Coming To TerraGator
May 19, 2015
Utilizing NORAC’s Standard Control technology, boom height control is now available for TerraGators with Airmax Precision 2 and Benson Booms. This Read More
Crop InputsHelena Introduces New Soil Health Product
May 19, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. is helping agricultural producers maximize yields and efficiency with the introduction of Liquid Chisel, a new product Read More
Stewardship4R Nutrient Management Planning Certification Now Avail…
May 19, 2015
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) program announce a new specialty certification in Read More
Environmental Defense Fund logo
Paul SchrimpfEnvironmental Defense Fund: Appreciating Partners
May 19, 2015
I WAS deep in the throes of preparation for the Commodity Classic meeting that took place this past February, trying Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
May 19, 2015
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
Syngenta Sign
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Lawyer’s Victory Claim In Vi…
May 18, 2015
A plaintiff’s lawyer has issued a public statement claiming that damages have been awarded in the Agrisure Viptera corn lawsuits Read More
StewardshipCould Australian Water Trading Approach Fit In Californ…
May 18, 2015
Ten years of drought isn’t a good thing. It doesn’t help the bottom line of farmers or the health of Read More
SpreadersDutch Sprayer Manufacturer To Enter U.S. Market
May 18, 2015
Dutch self-propelled sprayer manufacturer Agrifac Machinery has announced intentions to enter the U.S. market with two models of sprayers available Read More
FertilizerTFI Weighs In On Fertilizer Rail Transport Bill
May 14, 2015
With today’s House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as a backdrop, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) registered its support for policies Read More
ManagementA Visit To The 2015 Environmental Respect Spirit Award …
May 14, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a recent visit to the CPS Spirit winner in St. Stephen’s Church, Read More
StewardshipBayer Entomologist Issues Statement On Annual Honeybee …
May 13, 2015
Richard (Dick) Rogers, Principal Scientist / Entomologist, Bayer Bee Care Center for Bayer CropScience LP, today issued the following statement Read More
Crop InputsKansas State Researchers Announce Resistant Kochia Brea…
May 13, 2015
Kansas State University researchers say new research helps explain why an invasive weed is developing resistance to a well-known herbicide, Read More
RR2X soybeans surround untreated check (center)
HerbicidesUSDA Study: Glyphosate Application More Prevalent In So…
May 13, 2015
Glyphosate—known by many trade names, including Roundup—has been the most widely used pesticide in the United States since 2001. It Read More
AdjuvantsHelena Chemical Introduces New Drift Control Adjuvant J…
May 13, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. introduces Justified, an innovative drift control agent designed to improve the performance and precision of spray applications Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unificati…
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More