As farmers finish the harvest this season and begin to prepare fields for next year, it is important that they look at nitrogen management with a systems approach, according to GROWMARK Agronomy Services Manager Dr. Howard Brown.
“If we look at how the crop grows, we have to keep in mind nutrition and so putting all the nitrogen on at one particular time, especially in the fall, may not be the way to go,” Brown says.
Brown uses the acronym “MOM” to explain his approach to nitrogen management. “MOM stands for Maximizing yield, Optimizing nitrogen utilization and Minimizing environmental impact,” he said. “It’s about understanding the nitrogen cycle and what happens to nitrogen when we put it on a field.”‘
He compares nitrogen management to a farmer selling grain incrementally over time to get the best prices. “With nitrogen it’s the same way. If we knew when it was going to rain, we could put it all on at one time but since we don’t, let’s put it on incrementally and then we have a spreading out of our nutrition so the plant has better utilization and we optimize yield.”
Brown recommends a full rate of a nitrogen stabilizer like N-Serve in the fall. “The value of a nitrification inhibitor such as N-Serve allows us to keep that anhydrous ammonia from converting to the form that moves more readily with water for an extended period of time,” he said.
Brown has a lot more to say about nitrogen management in this interview. Take a listen: Howard Brown Interview
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