Early Soil Nitrate Trends after Wheat in 2022

Small grain harvest is well underway across the region, and soil testing is progressing quickly. Crop yields have varied from below average to exceeding expectations across the region and often in the same area. Planting date, summer temperatures, and rainfall (too little or too much) were major factors this year. The major factors influencing the […]

Corn Growth and Development – Are we behind?

This article originally appeared in the AGVISE Laboratories Fall 2022 Newsletter under Southern Trends The spring and early summer were very interesting to say the least. Spring rains continued well into late May and delayed planting for sugar beet, corn, and soybean throughout the southern region. By mid-May, many producers changed long-day corn maturities to […]

Sampling Depth: Be consistent!

This article originally appeared in the AGVISE Laboratories Fall 2022 Newsletter Soil test results are only as reliable as the soil samples collected in the field. A crucial part of soil sample quality is consistent sampling depth. This is important because all the soil test calibration research and fertilizer guidelines for non-mobile nutrients (e.g., phosphorus, […]

Prevented Planting Acres? What to do for 2023

This article originally appeared in the AGVISE Laboratories Fall 2022 Newsletter Good crop prices encouraged late planting beyond crop insurance deadlines, but additional June rainfall kept some producers from planting all their acres, leaving some unplanted fields or unplanted parts of fields. There are many questions about soil testing on these unplanted fields: When should […]

Soil Sampling for Nitrogen in a Delayed Spring

Spring planting is clipping along in some parts of the region, while other parts are still waiting to hit the field, as excessive rainfall and cold temperatures have delayed spring field work and planting. Who would have thought last fall that this is what spring 2022 would look like, after the worst region-wide drought in […]

Probe stuck in the ground? Don’t let it wreck your day.

If you have ever had a soil probe come off while in the ground, you have experienced a rare but stressful event! A customer recently called with this situation and a success story about how he recovered the soil probe “MacGyver” style.  I think his solution involved barb wire, duct tape and some chewing gum.  […]

Zone Soil Sampling and Variable Rate Fertilization: Optimizing profits

This article originally appeared in the AGVISE Laboratories Winter 2022 Newsletter Farmers, like all business owners, are profit maximizers: things are good when revenue exceeds cost. Things are even better when the difference between revenue and costs is substantial. The math behind increasing profit is simple: reduce costs, increase revenue. But, the difficult part is […]

2021 Drought: High residual soil nitrate-nitrogen across the region

This article originally appeared in the AGVISE Laboratories Winter 2022 Newsletter The 2021 drought rivals the 1988 drought, and it covered much of the northern Great Plains and Canadian Prairies. From previous experience with droughts, we expected that residual soil nitrate-N following crops would be higher than normal, caused by the drought and reduced crop […]

Banding Phosphorus and Potassium: Stretch your fertilizer dollars further

This article originally appeared in the AGVISE Laboratories Winter 2022 Newsletter Broadcast or band? For phosphorus and potassium, these are big fertilizer questions. In recent months, high fertilizer prices have prompted farmers and agronomists to consider other strategies to reduce fertilizer costs without jeopardizing crop yield. Among the most common and effective options is placing […]

Controlling Soybean Cyst Nematode: Do you have a resistance problem?

This article originally appeared in the AGVISE Laboratories Winter 2022 Newsletter This is the third year of our soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistance project. Each year, we have flagged spots in soybean fields and collected paired SCN soil samples in June and September. If the SCN egg count increases through summer and into fall, we […]

Fall-applied Nitrogen Fertilizer: A Couple Simple Rules

The beginning to mid-October is when soil temperatures across the northern Great Plains and Canadian Prairies typically drop below 50 °F (10 °C). This is the soil temperature threshold that we wait to reach before applying fall-applied nitrogen fertilizer. It is important to wait until soil temperatures are cold enough (<50 °F) to help reduce […]

How much residual soil nitrate is left after the 2021 corn crop?

It’s probably more than you think. So far, the residual soil nitrate-nitrogen trend following corn is much higher than average across the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains. This follows the same trend set by the 2021 wheat crop. For many growers in the region, the hot and dry growing season has resulted in high […]

Soil Sample Before Tillage: Consistent sample depth matters!

The fall harvest season is a busy time of year. Farmers need to finish harvest, apply fertilizer, and complete any tillage operations before the long winter sets in. Another field operation that needs to be completed within this flurry of activity is soil sampling, and sampling timing is crucial to getting quality and consistent soil cores. […]

Corn Stalk Nitrate Test

To help evaluate nitrogen management in corn, you may want to try the corn stalk nitrate test as a post-mortem tool. The corn stalk nitrate test is a late-season or end-of-season plant analysis on mature corn stalks. Iowa State University developed the corn stalk sampling protocol and interpretation. If corn did not have sufficient nitrogen, […]

Updated Residual Soil Nitrate Trends (Variability is high this year)

The 2022 growing season may seem like a long way off, but spring will be here before we know it. In fact, many growers are already making (or have made) crop choices and seed variety decisions for 2022. One factor that must be considered when making crop and variety selections for 2022 is residual soil […]