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Agronomy Talk

W. IOWA - PAT HOLLOWAY, CCA

Don't Cut Your Lime and Fertilizer Applications Just Yet

Published on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

With the current commodity prices, farmers will be looking to cut costs wherever possible. One of those places will likely be lime and fertilizer applications. If your fertilizer and lime applications are one of the
things you are considering cutting, be sure to evaluate your fields closely and be confident that the cuts are being made on fields that are testing high enough in phosphorus and/or potassium. These are the fields that
would be the least likely to see a response to the application. When soil test results are evaluated this fall to see where nutrients and lime are needed, be sure to compare your results to data from universities that show the probability of response from applications of the fertilizer or lime in question.

For soils testing low in either phosphorus or potassium, the cost in yield loss from not applying fertilizer can be far greater than spending the money on the applications. On the other hand, fields that are testing in the medium to high levels will likely experience less yield loss by skipping a fertilizer application. The problem is, if the nutrients are not added year after year, the soil levels will decrease and the chances of having a yield impact will become greater. As you evaluate your soil test results this fall, remember that your local Beck’s field agronomist is there for you to provide additional information regarding return on investment (ROI) of applications of lime, phosphorus and potassium.

Author: Pat Holloway

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