Going into the spring of 2011 some growers are concerned about trying to maximize their yields due to the great commodity prices. Coming out of 2010 with the extreme moisture, what did we learn that we can apply to this year? First thing is getting a complete soil analysis. Knowing what is available to the crop can put you in the right direction. Now the one thing we did learn last year with all of the moisture is top dressing paid big dividends. That is the one thing that all growers can utilize to maximize yield. As we see that moisture is abundant this spring, a producer needs to think about how he can maintain his yield potential. There are a lot of options to top dress like using ammonium sulphate (21-0-0-24), liquid nitrogen UAN (28-0-0) Liquid Sulphur (15-0-0-20) and even urea (46-0-0). All of these products can be used alone or in a combination in the right conditions. Last year we did 2 us gals of 28-0-0 with 8 us gals of water through a customer’s own sprayer and had good results. We used his regular 10 gal nozzles without have to buy special dribble band nozzles. Another example was we used our floater and spread dry sulphur on some canola after all of the rain and that application turned the crop around.
So why bring up this topic? Well I have talked to a lot of growers in wet areas wondering how they are going to get things seeded and fertilized. We had seen last year in Saskatchewan that if you got something growing that crop did pull the water table down better than no crop at all. So in looking at top dressing you can lighten up the load on the seeding side getting a base nutrient package down then once things are growing top up the crop with what is needed.
Just something to think about this week.
Garth Donald C.C.A.