Nutrient management alternatives to consider


Nutrient management alternatives to consider

An extension educator is outlining recommendations to maximize fertilizer dollars in 2022 as input costs remain high.

Paul Gross with Michigan State University tells Brownfield he’s heard from many farmers planning to change to their crop rotations or who are storing fertilizer over the winter because of the fear of rising costs.

“Farmers are really thinking hard about this,” he says.  “There’s probably as much uncertainty and concern with input costs—primarily fertilizer—as I’ve seen in a few years.”

Gross strongly recommends soil testing and not overlooking pH values before making fertility decisions.

“pH still remains one of the most important aspects of nutrition for crops,” he says.

And he says manure is often undervalued.

“A lot of the microbial communities that you’re bringing into that field with that manure, and even some of the organic matter, is really an important part of a nutrient program,” he says.

Gross says green manures from cover crops will also aid in reducing nutrient costs along with improving long-term soil health.

MSU has a fertilizer cost comparison tool to help farmers make decisions for the year ahead.