Everything is right about the 4Rs of nutrient management – the right source, the right rate, the right time, and the right place for applying nutrients in the field.
“It actually drives a farmer to look more at a systems approach to nutrient management rather than just making an application and moving to the next step,” said Dr. Howard Brown, Manager of Agronomy Services for GROWMARK, Inc.
Brown says GROWMARK has been focused on nitrogen management as one of the driving factors for higher yields for the last several years. “We looked at nitrogen from the standpoint of feeding the plant nitrogen throughout the period of time that it needs it and putting some on as late as we can so the plant can utilize the nitrogen and keep plant health later in the season to equate to higher yields,” and it worked for three of the last four years – with last year being the exception because of the drought.
With planting season upon us, now is the time to look at a comprehensive nutrient management plan that encompasses the 4Rs and what Brown calls the “MOM” approach – Maximizing yield, Optimizing nitrogen utilization and Minimizing environmental impact. Brown also talks in this interview about “N-Watch” which involves taking inventory of plant-available nitrogen in the soil. “N-Watch provides us a new dimension,” Brown said. “We’ve got to manage the nitrogen in the soil.” Checking the soil for residual nitrogen Brown says will help provide farmers with a better idea of how much nitrogen they need.
Find out more in this interview: Interview with Dr. Howard Brown