When is Top-Dressing Nitrogen a Good Idea?

Interest in top-dressing nitrogen (N) is increasing across the prairies. Some producers use it to improve yield or protein content, while others use it as a risk management strategy to minimize losses. But when is top-dressing N economically advantageous? Does improving protein content ever pay?

Read More: 3 Tips for Top-Dressing Nitrogen in Cereals and Canola

In this audio interview, we hear from Rigas Karamanos, senior agronomist with Koch Agronomic Services, on the pros and cons of what he considers a risky management tactic in cereals and canola.

“If you were take a portion out of your original [rate of fertilizer] and leave it for later on: the longer you left it, the bigger the punishment in terms of yield and the more the benefit for protein,” explains Karamanos in the interview. “Our economic analysis showed it didn’t matter — you never made the money.”

“You never make up for the loss in yield by the increase in protein,” cautions Karamanos. “I would look at [top-dressing N] more as an emergency practice than I would as a regular practice.”

If you cannot see the embedded player, click here to listen.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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