ISU Research Suggests Reducing Fall Fertilizer Applications

Research from Iowa State University shows during drought years like this one, there is higher than normal nitrogen stored in soils. Shawn Richmond, Environmental Services Director at the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, explains, “Fertility decisions are always important, but especially so following drought conditions.” Richmond encourages farmers to work with their ag retail partners to consider soil testing for nitrogen, reduce rates of fall fertilizer application and consider split rate of spring applications instead. Cover crops can also help scavenge and hold onto excess nitrogen in the soil, making it available for the following crop instead of being lost through runoff or leaching. The comments were made on WHO radio and promoted by 4R Plus, a coalition of Iowa agricultural and conservation organizations, as part of the Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here Campaign. Farmers and their advisors can learn more about conservation practices, like cover crops, by visiting 4RPlus.org.