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Browsing Category Fertilizer

Water Soluble Versus Slow-Release Fertilizers

Not all phosphorus-based fertilizers are created equal. For this reason, achieving adequate and well-timed phosphorus nutrition in potatoes can prove complicated and – if managed incorrectly – unnecessarily costly. Consider this: if two fertilizers contain the same total amount of elemental phosphorus but that phosphorus is held in different compounds that react differently in soil, the fertilizers may vary widely in how much and when their phosphorus is available to plants. This…

Managing Fertilizer-derived Salts in Potato Fields

Crop producers who struggle with damagingly high soil salinity due to naturally occurring salt deposits, high water tables and/or salt accumulations from manure applications know managing salinity can require intensive effort. Luckily, managing fertilizer-derived salts in soil requires only a basic understanding of soil chemistry, some simple know-how, and balance. High soil salt content increases the osmotic potential (pressure) required for water molecules to move. In practical terms, the higher the salinity,…

Understanding P in Your Soil

Phosphorus plays an incredibly important role in a potato crop’s ultimate yield and quality. Ensuring a crop has access to adequate phosphorus is not always easy, however. Because phosphorus has complex and inconsistent solubility in soil, it can sometimes be unavailable to plants even in fields where it exists at relatively high levels. Simply dumping on more phosphorus to compensate brings with it multiple economic, agronomic and environmental repercussions. For these reasons,…

Secondary Nutrients are Critically Important

Potato growers spend appreciable time and effort carefully managing their fields’ nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels. Successful producers don’t stop there, however. They understand that secondary nutrients like magnesium, sulfur and calcium – though required in smaller amounts than nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – are equally essential to plant growth. As per Leibig’s Law of the Minimum, whichever nutrient is least available to plants will prove the limiting factor on crop growth….

Nutrient Stewards Know, Time Isn’t Free

Being wholly dependent on the land, farmers are most successful when they work in tune with nature’s rhythms and requirements. Achieving maximum plant nutrition and yield through a combination of best management practices is integral to any farming operation, as seen with the widely adopted 4R Nutrient Stewardship program. Created to help operations increase profitability and sustainably, the four cornerstones (4Rs) of nutrient stewardship – right nutrient source, right rate, right placement,…

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