Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

4R Nitrogen Update

With the recent cool and wet weather, some are quick to jump to conclusions about the fate of nitrogen, the level of suspected loss and what to do.  IFCA's work with the University of Illinois enables us to take an approach that looks at multiple factors including on-farm N-WATCH testing and also assisting the UI in soil sampling at several nitrogen tracking research sites.  Sampling can be difficult and the results uncertain in extremely wet soils, so patience is important to assure good data and evaluation of that data.  

In addition to applied nitrogen, we learned last year that soil mineralization plays a significant role in nitrogen availability and it is still early in the growing season.  As UI's Dr. Nafziger reflected on in this week's Bulletin (click here), there is plenty of time left in the growing season and the immediate priority is on evaluating the need to replant, keeping in mind that good yields are still possible as proven out in previous years.  
Watch for more news from the University of Illinois; this research is funded by NREC, and as such, it reflects a high level of responsibility and respect for good science and data that lead to sound nutrient recommendations.  Remember that every decision that is made, whether hastily or otherwise, has the ability to impact both nutrient utilization and nutrient loss.