Now that harvest has wrapped up, it’s time to set our sights on next season. Developing a micronutrient strategy is something many growers should now begin to set their crops up for success in the new year.
Kyle Lilly, senior product manager and certified crop adviser for Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition, has five things to consider as you plan for the 2019 growing season:
- Start with analysis. Utilize data from yield monitors and maps from this season to help inform strategies that might impact next season.
- Conduct a fall soil test. Testing now is a great option because soil testing labs tend to be slower in the fall and you can take your time looking through the results without the rush of planting. Your soil test can outline information on nutrient content, the composition of your soil, its pH and organic percentage levels, all which can inform which nutrients may be lacking. Be sure to include micronutrients in this test.
- Research crop nutrient removal rates. Look at how much grain and stubble you’re removing from your field as well as the amount of nutrients you’re removing from the soils or if you’re building them up. This information can help you determine which micronutrients might benefit your crop to help maximize yield goals.
- Discuss with trusted advisers. Sit down with your agronomists, business partners, retailers, etc., and compare soil test results with your 2019 yield goals to formulate a strategy for micronutrient application to fix any deficiencies found in the soil.
- Think beyond planting. Plan for mitigating potential in-season crop stresses with topdress, sidedress and in-season micronutrient applications.
Planning ahead and purchasing micronutrients early may not only save you money, but can also allow for better nutrient availability, crop productivity, and help you become better stewards of the environment, all while helping you feel more confident going into next season.