Lower commodity prices tend to focus our attention on the expense side of the balance sheet. But keeping a close eye on costs always is a good idea. One approach is to ensure each input delivers the best return possible. Take nitrogen, for example.
Nitrogen is essential for plant growth. It ranks behind only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in total quantity needed and is the mineral element most demanded by plants.1 It’s one of your largest input line items and perhaps the most difficult to manage. Because nitrogen changes in form and chemistry almost continuously and readily moves from one location to another, several factors, including form of nitrogen applied, placement in the soil, application timing, environmental conditions, soil type and others, impact how much nitrogen is available to growing crops.
According to University of Missouri Extension specialists, successful nitrogen management delivers enough nitrogen to the crop to optimize yield and profitability while minimizing losses to water and air.2 The University of Missouri experts recommend several nitrogen best management practices, including:
- Application timing. Apply nitrogen as close as possible to the period of rapid crop uptake. For corn, that’s often accomplished by side dressing.
- Application rate. The amount of nitrogen needed to optimize crop yield often differs significantly from field to field and from one part of a field to another. Precision farming technologies — Case IH Advanced Farming Systems, for example — are improving your ability to pinpoint applications.
- Nitrogen sources. Choose a nitrogen fertilizer source based on timing, fertilizer application methods or placement.
- Application methods and placement. Choice of method and placement depends on the nitrogen source.
- Evenness of application. Uneven over- or underapplication can result in significant yield loss. Nitrogen source and application equipment are key determining factors.
Whether you prefer fall, spring or in-crop applications of urea, anhydrous ammonia or urea-ammonium nitrate — or a combination of nitrogen sources and timing — Case IH application equipment can help you achieve your yield goals.
Talk with your Case IH dealer about how our full line of equipment options can be tailored to suit your fertility program. From our Titan™ series floaters to our rugged, heavy-duty Nutri-Tiller strip-till system and Nutri-Placer fertilizer applicator to our Early Riser® planters, Case IH can help you precisely place your fertilizer investment where and when it benefits your growing crop most. And that’s a great way to help balance your bottom line.
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