• Plant Health
  • Aug 22, 2018

A Better Way to Manage Nitrogen

Plastic tray filled with soil being poured into silver testing box
Nitrogen is one of the most expensive inputs for crop productivity. Yet, it’s critical for healthy crops. That’s why finding better ways to manage it is crucial for farmers. At Solum, Inc., we’re working to develop new technology to characterize soil with the ultimate goal of helping farmers build more prescriptive nutrient management programs. We’re owned by WinField United, which gives us access to the latest technology and expert resources to make that goal a reality.
Keep track of your nitrogen
During corn’s rapid growth from about V10 to V18, plants can absorb up to 10 pounds per acre of nitrogen per day. If that nitrogen isn’t available in the root zone, it’s likely plants won’t reach their maximum yield potential. Spoon-feeding crops throughout the season helps ensure that mobile nutrients like nitrogen are available when plants need them most.
But how do you know how much nitrogen your crops need in-season? I recommend doing a soil test prior to side-dressing in order to understand baseline nitrogen levels in soil. Because nitrogen availability changes so quickly in soil, it’s necessary to get sampling results as close to that critical uptake period as possible. Armed with accurate soil nitrogen information, you’re better able to make in-season side-dress application decisions with confidence.
Timely soil sample results can also help save on nitrogen costs. If you know exactly how much nitrogen is available in soil, you can tailor a side-dress application to match your crop’s need. You won’t under- or overapply because real-time testing tells you exactly where you stand. That’s good news for your pocketbook and for the environment.
Solum offers a fast, easy soil nitrate test that generates lab-quality data at your local retail location. Our No-Wait Nitrate soil testing uses water and optical sensors to measure soil nitrate levels in just 3 to 5 minutes. The real-time results help you make a quick decision at a key time in the crop’s development.
Good nitrogen management helps realize a crop’s yield potential. For more information on how No-Wait Nitrate testing can help you plan your nitrogen applications, contact your local WinField United retailer.