Fertilizer following a big crop

Oct 09, 2023

What a difference a year makes for corn and soybean yields! After two subpar growing seasons in my area, it is nice to see yields coming in well above average and possibly record breaking in some areas. I have seen yields coming in between 190 and 220 on corn and 50 to 65 on soybeans so far this season and I expect this trend to continue as harvest gets into full swing this week. It is important to remember that a big crop also requires more fertilizer to replace what was removed during the growing season. If fertilizer is not replaced, yield and overall plant health will draw down over time until the fertilizer is replaced. For example, 60 bushel soybeans removes 43lbs of phosphorus and 72lbs of potash, this is an increase of 15lbs of phosphorus and 24lbs of potash over what removal of 40 bushel soybeans pull from the soil in a year. This increase translates into almost 70lbs more of product to be applied per acre just to replace what the crop used this season. Soil tests are the best way to efficiently apply fertilizer and to see what each field needs to replace or build on what fertility is available already. Anyone with questions on fertilization or wanting to pull some soil tests this fall can contact me or their local SFG agronomist, we would be happy to work with you to get a plan together for your 2024 fertilizer needs.