A Crop of Corn Ready for HarvestFall Corn Harvest is beginning and this is evident by the  large number of soil samples received at Midwest Laboratories  yesterday, October 18, 2011.

This year has been quite a year of unpredictable events like volatility in grain prices, precipitation, flooding in some areas, hail and high winds in other areas.  Because of these factors alone, a grower should test his/her soil as part of a soil nutrient plan and understand the results of the soil analysis.

I came across this article, “Fall Soil Sampling for Next Year’s Fertilizer Decisions” and wanted to highlight three reasons:

Reason One:  Nitrogen Fertilizer Prices

  • Nitrogen prices have continued to climb since spring 2010.
  • Retail urea prices are  approximately $600/ton plus minus $25/ton
  • N. Ammonia continues to increase..due to production problems in the Aribbean. Prices range from $800/ton to $875/ton

Reason Two: Phosphorus Prices

  • Phospurous prices for 18-46-0 (DAP) have increased significantly since 2010
  • Next spring the expected price is estimated to be over $700/ton

Reason Three: Manure Option

  • High fertilizer prices increase the value of manure

Managing fields by keeping historical soil test values can prove to be a very valuable tool in planning for fertilizer costs in the future.  Soil sampling supplies: soil bags, boxes, shipping labels and especially soil probes are very popular items that are purchased at this time. Make sure you have your supplies on hand so you can begin your soil sampling after harvest. If you would like a copy of the publication, “Using Laboratory Analyses to Maximize Yield” – download a copy from the Midwest Laboratories website.

Picture Alternative Heat