Iowa State University research suggests farmers affected by drought so reduce fall fertilizer rates
Research by Iowa State University suggests farmers affected by drought should reduce fall fertilizer applications.
Sotirios Archontoulis, an associate professor in the Department of Agronomy at ISU, says inorganic soil nitrate left behind is higher in a drought year.
“We are seeing values of 30 percent (more soil nitrogen) in some regions in September than in a normal year. So I think nitrogen fertilizer as in a normal year, this will increase the risk of nitrogen loss.”
He tells Brownfield farmers have seven months until the next cropping season starts.
“A lot of things can happen (in that time). On the other hand, I’m hearing and reading about uncertainties in nitrogen fertilizers and prices. And all this makes decision-making very complicated this year.”
Archontoulis encourages farmers to consider either delaying fertilizer applications till spring or reduce rates because of the higher nitrate levels.