The Cost Of Nitrogen Fertilizer Has Tripled Over The Last Year
You can maybe call it inflation, sticker shock, disbelief, but the cost of nitrogen fertilizer this fall is close to $1,500 a ton for anhydrous ammonia. Just to put that in perspective last fall and spring if I remember correctly it was $450 to $500 a ton. In addition you can not even get a price quote for nitrogen next spring from retailers. I suspect they do not want to purchase the expensive nitrogen and then have to sell it at a loss if fertilizer prices fall between now and spring.
This has caused almost all farmers to question if they need to adjust their nitrogen management plans and rates. Looking at the current corn price and nitrogen cost ratio it may indicate rates should be decreased this year. Then, because of the drought, there may be residual nitrogen left that could be available for next years corn crop.
Brad Carlson Extension Educator at the Mankato Regional office has worked with nitrogen and water quality for many years. Brad said you can early next spring take a soil sample, send it to the lab and find out how much available nitrate nitrogen is left in the soil. Brad added they have not talked a lot about soil tests for available nitrate nitrogen, so I did not feel too bad I was not aware of it!
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Brad has seen soil nitrate nitrogen test results from this fall showing 80 pounds of available nitrogen per acre. That is half of the nitrogen requirement for corn on corn! Will it still be there next spring? Take another soil sample next spring, send it in and find out for sure. Click on the link and listen to Brad discuss the cost of nitrogen and how to manage it.
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