Top Crop Manager

News Fertility and Nutrients Soil
Fertilizer considerations after an unusually wet fall


March 20, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

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The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, the saying goes. No matter how tested and proven your methods are, severe weather patterns can throw an unexpected wrench in, as growers in southern Manitoba learned last fall. Receiving upwards of 200 per cent of the expected rainfall in September and October, Manitoba farmers were unable to apply nitrogen (N) fertilizers as they typically would – roughly 40 per cent of their application.

As such, spring applications are expected to be heavier than usual to compensate. This has thrown several other elements of the annual agricultural schedule into disarray, and left many growers wondering how best to apply N without damaging seed or delaying seeding.

John Heard, soil fertility specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, and Don Flaten, professor in the Department of Soil Science at University of Manitoba, have created a fact sheet for farmers dealing with the fertilization fallout of the wet fall: Fertilization Options after an Unusually Wet Fall March 2020. This resource would be beneficial for farmers in southern Manitoba specifically, and any field crop farmers whose N fertilizer application was affected by the wet fall conditions of 2019.