The weather we experienced this winter has caused difficulties for everyone, but for farmers, the winter of 2018-2019 has led to uncertainty when in the hopes of a normal spring planting season.
Across a large swath of the Northern Corn Belt, especially those areas where alfalfa is an integral crop, a late, wet Autumn resulted in saturated soils going into the winter months. Compounding this situation were the late December rains (in some locals approaching 2.0 in.), an extremely cold January, persistent low temperatures throughout February and multiple heavy snow events in early March. As of March 13, 2019, when this article was written, Minnesota has experienced our second inch of cold rain. And though the snow depth has gone from 26 in. to a level of 18 in. in the past 36 hours, the chances of injury to our alfalfa crop is higher than normal this year.
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Tags: Agronomy, alfalfa, winterkill, alfalfa damage
Fall fertility decisions in northwest Illinois have traditionally been based on crop removal and recent soil test levels. That may remain unchanged for some in 2015, while others may find the need to adjust levels lower due to economics. The cost to apply major nutrients like P and K have not dropped at the same rate as grain prices, resulting in heightened interest of economical use of these nutrients. Referring to soil test information, P and K can be allocated to only those areas most likely to respond to applications. Be sure to review critical levels of nutrients for corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa. The probability and magnitude of return to P and K fertilizer will increase when applied to soil test levels below the critical level.
Categories: Agronomy Talk
Tags: Illinois, Beck's Hybrids, corn, soybeans, Agronomy, Craig Kilby, Wheat, Agronomy Talk, Iowa, fall fertility, soil tests, P and K, phosphorus, potassium, alfalfa, maintenance soil nutrient levels