Fertility and Nutrients
OMAFRA: Balancing corn’s N needs and high fertilizer prices
By Top Crop Manager
The high input costs of 2022 have farmers trying to find a balance between meeting the nutritional needs of their crops and not breaking the bank. Ben Rosser, corn specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), has created a resource for growers to consult when determining how much nitrogen (N) to apply to their corn crops this year.
His simple summary:
- If you have an N rate you are confident is right for your farm in most years, N recommendations and historical work suggests a reduction of 15 to 20 pounds of N per acre (lb. N/ac) may be appropriate to adjust for nitrogen/corn economics in 2022 compared to the longer term;
- The above adjustment assumes relatively normal N responses in 2022. Large changes in N response (N-loss, yields) year-to-year can change optimum N rates more than changes in economics;
- Investigate scenarios with the Ontario Corn Nitrogen Calculator by GoCorn.net that reflect your agronomics and costs/prices;
- Building N-response data on-farm over time can give an idea of how close application rates may be to optimum and provide confidence when adjusting N rates in the future.
For more information, visit the Field Crop News website.