The Importance of Fall Fertilizer

Sep 16, 2020

Irv Arndt, CFS Agronomy Growth Specialist
Harvest has begun for 2020 in the CFS territory. It will be an earlier than normal harvest and with hopefully dry weather we can have time for fall application of fertilizer. I would say one of the biggest advantages with fall fertilization is less spring compaction. The last several years with the excess moisture we have had in the planting season every pass with equipment has shown in a lot of cases and it shows up in our data. It is very tough to wait when rain is constantly in the forecast.

Agronomically the earlier fall P&K are applied the sooner these nutrients will mineralize and be available for the crop. P & K are stable and will not go anywhere once applied to the soil. Another plus is incorporation or deep placement of fertilizer is important to move products throughout the upper layer of soil where a large portion of the roots are, and most major tillage is done in the fall.

Sulfur is becoming more and more of a factor the over last 15 years. We all have heard that we are getting less from the rain because of less pollution being emitted. Sulfate is mobile in the soil so in the fall we have been running an elemental 85% sulfur that slows the release from sulfur to sulfate. In the spring we run Ammonium sulfate which is readily available. Sulfur and nitrogen work together in the plant so it is very important to have both available when needed.

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