My colleagues in the soil fertility world have often assumed that shallow (inch or so) incorporation of urea was better than no incorporation at all.
This spring has seen several days of major topsoil loss in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and other areas of the state where conventional tillage and dry top soil conditions were present.
The Irrigated Corn category within the North Dakota Corn N Calculator https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/soils/corn/ is not accessing the data it should to provide N recommendation values.
I think many consultants and growers understand that just because we grow corn and soybeans we are not Iowa, but some appear to be confused. There are two important differences that I need to stress for those who think the capital of North Dakota is Des Moines, and both are related.
To make strip-till practical in the Valley, follow the combine with the strip-till machine. Fertilizer P and K can be applied, and wait until at least the 1st of October to apply fall ammonia, and only then when soil temperatures taken between 6-8AM fall to 50 degrees F.
It is satisfying to see side-dress become more common in ND on soils with a high susceptibility to in-season N loss from leaching or denitrification. As plans are made this winter on strategies for next season, please consider the following:
There are some growers that are seeding cover crops into prevent plant acres, while others I think enjoy seeing their topsoil blow away during the winter and spring.
Soil sampling is encouraged immediately following early crop harvest, including winter wheat, barley, spring wheat, any wheat, rye, canola and early flax. The following are concepts to keep in your head during interpretation for next years’ crop:
Growers and crop consultants in the Valley are well acquainted with iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) through years of experience.
I have already referred to plant analysis as a tool that growers/crop consultants can use to better diagnose nutritional problems suspected from symptoms observed in the field.
Spring wheat and durum is approaching heading. My plots near Lisbon are in the boot stage and will head out in a few days.
Many more growers are planning to sidedress corn this year than in the past. Most growers that have tried sidedressing the past few years have been successful at increasing corn yield over fields with preplant only.
Traveling around the eastern part of the state almost half of the corn fields show some signs of S deficiency.
I meant to write this later, but I have stimulated so much conjecture that it was time to write this. Those of you that attended the Advanced Crop Advisor workshop about 10 years ago where Dr. Bundy at University of Wisconsin was speaking already should know this, but perhaps you have forgotten.
Most fields with corn have begun to green up with much warmer temperatures. There are some areas, particularly in medium to sandy soils on ridges/slopes that have begun to show signs of N or S deficiency.
The effects of too much tillage are again seen in the state with stark evidence of gullies, rill erosion, surface crusting, sealing of soil over trying-to-emerge germinating seedlings, and flooded field areas.
I have, or will have, 30 sites this year from Casselton to Beach to Bottineau in various studies.
We do not see the dust clouds in fields this first week of June as we did in April, but soil is moving just the same.
Most wheat fields are in the 3-5 leaf stage and have some yellow in them, especially in areas receiving near record May rains.
The small grains in the RRV are generally green right now. However, in a trip yesterday in south central ND to put out a research plot, there were a considerable number of fields with yellowing in small grains.