Winter planning for nutrient management critical in 2022 - Parrish and Heimbecker, Limited

Winter planning for nutrient management critical in 2022

January 7, 2022 | Eastern Canada, Western Canada

This is not the year to do nutrient management on the fly or to rely on stale, out-of-date soil sampling data to drive your fertilizer decisions.

Fertilizer prices have increased significantly this fall and rumblings of possible supply shortages are a common topic of discussion in the agricultural industry.

Weather hasn’t helped nutrient management either. Western Canada suffered through a drought in 2021 while parts of Ontario were abnormally wet this fall. Moisture and heat both affect nutrient availability.

It’s important to understand the economic and agronomic forces at play this year, no matter where you are. Your P&H agronomist can help develop a strategy to maximize crop nutrient efficiencies despite these price increases. Think through the options and consider both agronomics and economics. Nutrient management planning could have a big impact your bottom line in the 2022 crop year.

Weather in 2021 will affect your 2022 nutrient management plan

The growing season in Western Canada in 2021 was… “unique.” Drought prevailed across much of the Prairies. How will these conditions impact the nutrients in the soil?  Soil tests will provide valuable information of residual nutrients in the soil especially if the 2021 crop did not use these nutrients due to heat and lack of soil moisture. Your P&H agronomist can help organize and interpret these soil tests for crop fertility planning.

The same goes for Eastern Canada. Precipitation this fall forced many growers in Ontario to alter their crop rotation plans when it got too late to plant winter wheat. Now is the time to consider how crop rotation will impact soil nutrients.

Fertilizer prices are historically high across the country. Applying the right rate will be critical to optimizing the profitability of fertilizer applications now more than ever. In Western Canada, the 2021 drought-stressed crop may not have used all the nutrients from last year’s fertilizer applications.

Don’t guess, get a soil test

A soil test will provide data on available soil nutrients. If there is 30 lbs/acre of reserve nitrogen leftover in the soil, that is $30.06 per acre savings on nitrogen alone (Urea at $1050/ mt.). You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Don’t guess. Get a soil test.

Fertilizer placement can impact crop emergence and it becomes even more critical in drier soils. Place each nutrient where the crop roots can access it. While every producer has a different seeding operation and fertilizer placement can vary, attention to seed and fertilizer placement in the ground can enhance crop uptake and avoid crop injury from fertilizer burn.

Your P&H agronomist can help with all your crop and nutrient management planning. Give your local P&H retail a call to arrange soil testing on your fields.

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