Category: Nutrient Management

Use active math when evaluating nitrogen stabilizers

When growing corn, many farmers utilize nitrogen stabilizers to protect their fertilizer investment. Agrotain has become a popular stabilizer choice for its ability to inhibit nitrification and protect nitrogen from ammonia volatilization. There are also products that protect against losses from denitrification and nitrate leaching. AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan says farmers can see a yield… Read more »

Neighbourhood nutrient plans share the load to better manage manure

Your farm has a nutrient management plan, but does it include your neighbours? A larger-scale plan is a great idea for intense livestock neighbourhoods that struggle to use manure efficiently. It also ensures nutrients stay in the field and out of tiles and waterways, says Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs field crop sustainability… Read more »

Corn School: Protect cob row numbers for highest yield potential

How important is the number of rows on a corn cob? When row numbers shrink from 20 to 18 you could be looking at a 20-bushel per acre yield loss, says Illinois-based BASF agronomist Jeremy Hogan. On this edition of RealAgriculture’s Corn School, Hogan breaks down four components of yield – protecting row numbers, maximizing ear… Read more »

Corn School: Boost kernel size for more yield

If you’re targeting maximum corn yield, you need to fine-tune plant nutrition for a particular two-week period of the corn growing season, says Tony Vyn, professor of agronomy at Purdue University. That’s because while we’ve been focused on more rows and kernels per row per ear, modern hybrids can pack tonnes of yield in if… Read more »

Corn School: How much corn residue should you remove?

Do your corn fields yield less than 170 bu/ac? If so, you have to be careful when removing corn residue from those fields because you could be depleting the field’s soil organic matter. That was the message USDA research agronomist Shannon Osbourne shared with those attending the recent Southwest Agricultural Conference at the University of… Read more »

PowerRich: Micros key to yield and profit

In 1840, J. Von Liebig, a German chemist described as the father of the fertilizer industry, stated that “the rate of growth of a plant, the size to which it grows, and its overall health depend on the amount of the scarcest of the essential nutrients that are available to it.” Since its inception in… Read more »

Corn School: Understanding 30 years of rising yields

Ontario will set a new corn yield record in 2017 with the crop expected to hit an average of 180 bu/ac or better. Where is all that yield coming from? Corn physiologist Dr. Thijs Tollenaar has poured over the data and identified three key factors driving corn yield improvement. A long-time University of Guelph professor… Read more »

Corn School: How long does it take to add 1 percent soil organic matter?

You’ve just finished combining a corn field and you want to know how much organic matter all that corn residue will contribute to your soil. RealAgriculture’s agronomist Peter Johnson tackles that question on our latest Corn School episode. Unfortunately, as Johnson explains, all those stalks and cobs won’t have much of an impact. When it… Read more »

Corn School: ‘Wins’ of spring 2017

2017 may well be remembered for the spring that just kept on giving. From flooding to hail, Mother Nature threw just about every challenge imaginable at Ontario farmers during the early portion of the growing season. But despite difficult conditions that wreaked havoc on spring tillage, planting, weed control and nutrient application, farmers have persevered…. Read more »

Corn School: Does wet soil need more nitrogen?

The rain keeps falling in Ontario and all the water-logged soils make it tough to get a good read on how much nitrogen is available to the province’s corn crop. In this edition of RealAgriculture Corn School, agronomist Peter Johnson discusses whether corn acres need supplemental nitrogen and how much they might need. It depends on… Read more »

Corn School: Cool weather calls for more sidedress nitrogen

Ontario’s cool, wet spring not only delayed planting, but also put the brakes on nitrogen mineralization, limiting the nutrient’s availability to the growing corn crop. According to OMAFRA pre-sidedress nitrate testing (PSNT) survey results released this week, corn growers are looking at the lowest rates of available nitrogen since the survey began in 2013. In… Read more »

Corn School: Time to start talking NPK and S

The N-P-K conversation – nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium – is the focus of most corn nutrient management discussions. But is it time for the letter S (sulphur) to be a routine part of that conversation? In this edition of RealAgriculture Corn School, AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan is joined by crop sales specialist Mike Veenema to… Read more »

Corn School: Cold and wet means less available nitrogen

What a difference a year makes. In 2016, Ontario’s cold and dry spring conditions produced plenty of available nitrogen for the emerging corn crop. But when you fast-forward to 2017, those cold soils are now waterlogged and the wet conditions mean there’s very little nitrogen available to the crop. The wet soil conditions have a… Read more »

Corn School: Knowing vs Hoping — Randy Dowdy’s Principles for Growing Record Yields

There are many aspects of farming that are beyond a farmer’s control (weather, markets…), but there are also variables that can be managed better than they have been in the past, according to the Georgia farmer who has set world corn and soybean yield records. “We make big yields and we blame the weather. We make… Read more »

Ontario CCAs Taking Lead on 4R Nutrient Management

Almost half of North American Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) holding a new 4R Nutrient Management designation reside in Ontario. That puts Ontario’s crop advisors at the forefront of efforts to help farmers and agriculture improve water quality, environmental stewardship and sustainability, says Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Association executive director Susan Fitzgerald. Earlier this week, the… Read more »