Plant Corn or Wait for Fertilizer?
This has been a frustrating spring with the frequent rains and a lot of cloudy weather. I am trying to look at the positive side, we have not been getting heavy rains. We do not have flooding and water standing in the low areas of fields. A couple warm sunny days with a little wind and we could probably be in the field. A lot of fertilizer especially nitrogen needs to be applied this spring. Farmers will have a tough decision to make when the fields do dry out. Do we plant corn or wait for fertilizer?
The general recommendation from agronomists is when the fields are dry enough or "fit" plant corn and worry about getting the nitrogen on after planting. With the days on the calander clicking away in May the top priority should be get the corn planted. We have many more options today to apply nitrogen after planting than we did just a few years ago. That is true but if you are considering changing your plans or form of nitrogen be sure to talk with your supplier.
Many farmers planned to apply anhydrous ammonia last fall. It was so wet and the soil froze up early in November and very little was applied. So, farmers planned on applying anhydrous ammonia this spring before planting. Others like myself planed on spreading nitrogen this spring in the dry form as urea. If all the farmers that planned on anhydrous ammonia switch to urea or liquid nitrogen your Coop or supplier may not have enough nitrogen on hand. Plus, your contract may say you have to use the nitrogen you paid for or booked. Talk with your Coop or supplier before you change your plans!