ISSUE 5 June 7, 2007
There are at least two problems with too much water in a field. First, the low areas, which sometimes are the highest producing parts of a farm, are flooded or damaged from soil saturation. Secondly, the higher ground can leach away important nutrients, particularly nitrogen and sulfur. Sulfur deficiency is possible in any crop, although the most susceptible crop we grow in this region is canola. Deficiency symptoms and solutions for canola can be found in NDSU Ext. Circ. 1122 (revised) on the web.
This year, sulfur deficiency in other crops can also be found. Sulfur deficiency was suspected and treated in a field in Barnes county recently (see figure). Plant analysis showed that sulfur was deficient, and the ammonium sulfate applied to the area resulted in substantial improvement in the crop.
Although the greatest emphasis is currently on weeds and diseases, growers might need to consider that since their most productive land is under water, there might be an advantage to top-dressing small grains or side-dressing row crops with additional N and perhaps some S on the high ground, particularly where the higher ground is coarser textured.
LOW-RATE NITROGEN PRODUCT STORIES
There are currently several products being marketed that claim several-X rate efficiency over 28% in their use for both additional yield and/or protein enhancement. Some of these products are slow-release N formulations originally marketed for turf. Some of these products have been or currently are the subject of research by NDSU scientists. To date, none of these products has shown the efficiencies currently being claimed by some companies. Additional data will be shared this fall and winter from 2007 work on some of these products in soil and/or foliar applications. I would encourage any use of these new products to be limited to strip trials, and I would also encourage continued use of recommended rates of 28% or other common products as a standard treatment to achieve yield and protein enhancement goals.
Dr. Dave Franzen
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist