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Nitrogen fertilization decisions for a corn crop need to be made throughout the entire growing season, not just at or before planting. Generally, the closer we can link our nitrogen applications to the timing of the crop demands the more efficient feeders we will become. You would never consider feeding a growing dairy heifer the entire quantity of the feed she will need at the beginning of her life. Not only will she be unable to consume the feed before it spoils, she will eventually deplete the feed she can reach before she is mature. The challenge comes in determining when and how much nitrogen we should apply to meet the needs of the crop and, if all else is sufficient, ensure us adequate yield. Fortunately there are several tools available that can be used very accurately to help us make these decisions. The first is the pre-sidedress soil nitrate test (PSNT).
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November 16, 2018