Helena Urges Nitrogen Management in Wake of Devastating Weather
Devastating weather events and record flooding throughout the Midwest and along the Mississippi River have delayed planting and created a logistics nightmare in the farming community. While farmers struggle to get crops in the ground, barge traffic ferrying fertilizer north is at a standstill. As concerns about fertilizer availability intensify, Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC is working with farmers to find alternative ways to meet the nutritional demands of their crops this season, especially nitrogen.
First, Helena recommends adding a nitrogen stabilizer to stretch supply as far as possible, helping to ensure enough nitrogen will be around later in the season when crop demand is at its highest. Some nitrogen stabilizers, like N-Fixx XLR, stop a specific process in the soil from occurring. N-Fixx XLR reduces nitrogen volatilization by ammonia loss. When added to urea or UAN, it keeps nitrogen in the ammonium form for crops to use during key growth stages. Others, like Hydra-Hume, are designed to increase fertilizer efficiency. Hydra-Hume prevents nutrient tie-up and improves nutrient availability. It helps retain nitrogen in the soil for greater utilization and less leaching.
Second, spread out your applications, and apply nitrogen as close to uptake as possible to minimize the amount of time nitrogen is susceptible to loss in the soil. Split applications of nitrogen are easily integrated into foliar applications as a way to mitigate loss, and ultimately, risk. For example, if you’re doing a two-pass herbicide program, you’re already driving through the field. By cutting back on your upfront nitrogen, you can come back with a side-dress application of Coron without an additional pass across the field, which saves you time and money.
Coron is a controlled release foliar nitrogen product that mixes very well with crop protection products, making it an ideal tank mix partner. Its steady release of nutrition can result in optimum growth and yield without the growth spike of conventional fertilizers. Following periods of heavy rainfall and flooding, split applications of Coron give you the opportunity to adjust your nitrogen program to compensate for any nitrogen loss that has already occurred.
Finally, Helena urges farmers to take advantage of its Extractor tissue analysis program this season to find out which nutrients are holding back their yield. With Extractor, tissue samples are taken at key growth stages starting shortly after emergence and going through maturity. Samples are then analyzed in agricultural laboratories for a wide range of nutrient concentrations. By measuring nutrient levels, Extractor helps farmers understand the true condition of the plant in order to make the right in-season adjustments.
If Mother Nature is forcing you to reconsider your traditional plan this season, Helena can help guide you through the uncertainty. Now is the time to maximize the resources you have and be proactive about the types of adjustments you can make in-season. Contact your local Helena representative to start building your plan today.