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Unlocking farm profits - Fine-tuning fertility programs
Iowa Ag Connection - 09/25/2023

Farming faces many hurdles, with rising costs and nutrient loss challenging profitability and sustainability. The Iowa Soybean Association’s annual 4R Nutrient Stewardship Event revealed secrets to overcoming these challenges.

Right source, right rate, right time, and right place! By sticking to these four Rs, farmers can hit the jackpot – boosting production, increasing profits, and becoming eco-friendly heroes. It’s all about matching the right fertilizer and keeping the nutrients where they belong – in the fields.

Experts like Dr. Antonio Mallarino from Iowa State University shared some nuggets of wisdom. He showed that too much phosphorus (P) could hurt farmers’ wallets. Moving nutrient levels from very low to low. Timing is everything, and Dr. Daniel Kaiser from the University of Minnesota emphasized efficient timing for applying P and potassium (K).

Managing what’s already there and soil testing are the ways to go. And beware, not all biological amendments are created equal – handle with care!

Nitrogen (N) is another piece of the puzzle. Scott Nelson and Ryan Reimer discussed how when and how N is applied make a world of difference. Split applications and variable rates are the game-changers here, leading to increased profitability and N efficiency.

Water quality is a big deal for sustainable farming. Anthony Seeman from ISA underlined its importance in crop management. Good news – conservation practices like cover crops are showing promising results!

Speaking of conservation, Ben Porepp from ISA highlighted its crucial role in making farming sustainable and profitable. With Iowa leading in cover crops, farmers have opportunities to tap into funds for embracing these green practices.

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