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NDSU Fertilizer Recommendations (6/04/20)

Most current fertilizer recommendations supported by NDSU Extension are the result of research completed within the past decade.

Most current fertilizer recommendations supported by NDSU Extension are the result of research completed within the past decade. The recommendations are the result of multiple sites of research; the N recommendation calculators for corn and spring wheat/durum are the culmination of well over 100 sites of data, for example. That being stated, experiments were not conducted on every field in the state, nor with every farmer in the state. The resulting recommendations come from the best scientific, statistically-supported data available. However, the recommendations are not ‘chiseled onto a temple wall’ nor are there dire consequences if a grower/crop consultant decides, due to their past experiences, to apply more or less fertilizer than what the calculator or crop fertilizer recommendation table indicates. At the bottom of the calculators, there specifically is narrative that a rate plus or minus a certain amount is perfectly acceptable given the uncertainty and variation that is present in the crop response model.

I am not a government regulator, nor do I believe that recommendation values should be used as a regulation or insurance eligibility target. Biology is messy. Crop response models are messy. Farmers have experiences with fertilizer rates on their farms and many crop consultants have years of experience on grower farms and have carefully reviewed and noted peculiarities of certain crop responses in dry, wet and in-between seasons. My recommendations are meant to be a central value that I hope will be considered when formulating the final fertilizer formula, but the final rates will depend on several considerations:

-        Farmer/consultant experiences on the field of the immediate region

-        Farmer financial condition

-        Rental or ownership status of the fields

-        Method of application as well as timing

 

Dave Franzen

Extension Soil Specialist

701-799-2565

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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