Done with fertilizer… until spring

Monday, November 13, 2017

Last Saturday, it was a mostly sunny but cool day.  CPS finished up with the application of the fertilizer for 2018.   This was mostly phosphorus and potassium, (P & K) with some micronutrients.  These are applied according to a map-based prescription,  The spreader truck varies the rate of application of the nutrients as it moves across the hills and flat parts of the fields.  The maps are developed using the results of sampling the soils, overlaid with maps of the previous year’s yields–accounting for the nutrient removal by the previous crop.

Here, the spreader truck moves across the hill at the Dunn farm. Some people look at this field, and ask if we farm in the ‘mountains’. Note the cover crop oats planted to protect the valley from erosion.


Applying P & K and micronutrients to the flat field at Dunn. Can you see in the background, across Roberson Ditch, the blackened remains of our neighbor’s combine? It rolled out smoke for 5 days until it finally burned out.

This concludes the application of granular fertilizers for the 2018-crop corn and soybeans.  The next nitrogen application will come on the wheat crop in late winter-early spring.   In late March or early April (depending on current conditions) we will apply the nitrogen for the 2018 corn crop, in the form of anhydrous ammonia.  It will be knifed into the soil, ahead of planting time, and applied according to a variable-rate prescription map.  Those prescription maps will be written this winter.  It’s a good office task on a cold, blustery day.

Have a blessed week.



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3 Responses to Done with fertilizer… until spring

  1. So do you still work the phosphorus in or hope it moves down into the root zone? I’ve always been told phosphorus stays pretty much where you apply it; very little movement. Just wondering how other operations handle it. I’m slowly moving to 100% notill from minimum tillage. Getting phosphorus down with the planter or air seeder are the best options I see but slow planting down.

    I enjoy reading your posts! I like seeing how different and similar farming is across the country.


    • casifarm says:

      We’ve been no-tilling for about 20 years. Yes, P moves very slowly through the soil profile, but it must move appropriately because the results are satisfactory. I think fall applications help. NT is the norm around the hills of SWIN.

      I certainly enjoy reading you, too. You always seem to have a positive outlook. And I enjoy the pictures you post. In this farmer’s eyes, you live and work in a very beautiful part of America. All the best to you and your family. I hope our paths may cross one day in the future.


      • Thanks for the info and for the compliments!
        I’m not a big traveler but someday I’d like to go back east to see corn belt farming in person. I’m sure it’s not a lot different, but at the same time I know that it is.

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