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Crop Corner – Fertilizer and Crop Protection Planning

February 06, 2021

Happy New Year!  Now that the 2014 growing season is complete we need to start thinking about next year’s, which is only weeks away if you are fertilizing wheat with urea or planning to spread clover seed this winter.  Commodity prices are better than expected considering the fall forecasts from the “experts”.  We have been extremely busy with soil sampling this winter and will continue to take samples, provided field conditions are suitable.  Many growers are asking to have individual fields sampled because of disappointing yields on some fields compared to others.  We are getting surprising low soil test levels of ph, phosphorus and potash even where there has been fertilizer applied over the years.  I still believe that more than 50% of our soybean acres are being grown in a fertilizer deficient environment.  The biggest surprise is how low our phosphorus levels are coming back as a result of the infrequent application of phosphorus fertilizer in our current cropping programs.  Remember that most of our phosphorus was applied in the past when we grew corn and many of us have not grown corn for a long time.  Maybe a good New Year’s resolution would be to soil test a few fields before spring to see where you stand.

In addition, our company is now overrun with Canada Fleabane after just two years of discovering it!  Do you have a plan to combat this problem weed in 2015?  Annual bluegrass continues to affect good crop yields in situations where growers are not applying residual soybean sprays to their land and for the lack of a sound crop rotation.  I can assure you that growing crops in Niagara will continue to cost more money in the future as we combat new weeds and low soil test levels.  Give us a call to arrange a planning meeting before spring, otherwise enjoy the winter season.  Spring is just around the corner!

This Crop Corner has been written by Jerry Winnicki, Agronomy Manager at Clark Agri Service.  Jerry can be reached by email jwinnicki@clarkagriservice.com or by phone 905-736-1426