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A Better Way to Farm Podcast

Jul 12, 2021

It’s exciting to share with you another episode of productivity tips to all our loyal listeners out there. The A Better Way to Farm family have always looked out for all the better ways we can support our farm productions through good and bad times.


So, be ready to listen and learn! Let’s go right in and gain better ways indeed to make our farm yields A-okay all the time… 😉 😉 😉

Episode 55 Transcripts ✨


Rod: [00:00:16] Hey guys, Rod here at A Better Way to Farm. It's exciting to get a chance to come and talk to you. I guess it's actually after lunch. It's about 1230. So wanted to talk about nitrogen testing right now. I've been doing a bunch of reading, different articles that have appeared in my feeds from different places, emails, and some of the social media. And there's a lot of talk about testing for nitrogen.


[00:00:40] And one of the things I thought was interesting that one of the articles said was that in the right conditions here in late June with it very hot and getting a large, large amount of rain, like some of us have, you could lose up to 60 and even as high as 80% of your nitrogen, in just five days. Now, guys, I want to say this. I, I don't, I know some of you are watching here and some of you are still experiencing a drought. Some of you, who will watch this, have had way too much rain. Some of you are like us. We had way too much rain early. We had a very short window where I live to get your corn planted. And then it turned off dry in the first three weeks of June. And it got really hot and it did not rain for about three and a half weeks. And it got up into the nineties and above every day. And all of a sudden, we went from too wet to too dry and we went really fast. And then when it started raining about the 21st of June, now it has rained almost every day except for two.


[00:01:39] And so now we're back to two wet again. These are prime conditions for nitrogen loss. And let me just say this guys, we know every year we're going to have some stress. We don't know what that stress will come from. We don't know what time and the year it will come, it could be too much heat of pollination, could be too much water, early, too much water late. It could be drought. It could be a lot of different. It could just be staying too cloudy and too cool for the entire growing season. We've lived long enough to see a host of things that can hurt us. But there are things that we can do to take insurance against some of these events and guys, some of the events, things that we can do to avoid some of these stress events is, we'll place a good starter with the right micronutrients.


[00:02:22] Some of these things would include making sure we're putting the guardian stabilizer in with our nitrogen to hold it in place, to protect it against leeching out. When we get into these warm temperatures and that microbial activity is going crazy and the water level is high. And all of a sudden we'd get big, big, big nitrogen loss, but I, however I want to encourage you. One of the things you might consider right now is rather than just going out and spending a small fortune on nitrogen is perhaps you should entertain the thought of going out and doing some soil testing. What if we would go out and we would pull those tests one foot deep, and we want to tell Midwest when we send it to them that we're pulling out one foot deep.


[00:03:06] And I want to encourage you. A lot of people, a lot of agronomists will say, just simply run the nitrate test. Here's a little tip for you. Midwest Labs is currently running the nitrate, plus the ammonia test for the same money. Why do I want to know that? Well, what I'm looking for is about 25 parts per million, but this time in the soil, 25 to 30 is very adequate to take us a long, long ways up the yield curve.


[00:03:33] But remember this, it takes about eight to 10 parts per million of nitrogen to maintain the life in the soil. And so if we only have eight parts per million, remember guys that plants do not eat at the first table. They eat at the second table. The soil eats first and whatever's left over that the soil doesn't use goes into the plant.


[00:03:55] And so therefore we have to make sure that we have adequate nitrogen that the soil can eat. And it's going to take eight to 10 parts per million. And then we need some above that. We've had some different friends who have tested and few years ago, one of those friends sent it in and they sent back, well, you know, you only have about 12 or 14 parts per million of nitrate, but he had used the guardian product, which holds his nitrogen, the ammonium form. He had another 18 parts per million in ammonia. And so it's really important that we test for both of those. And I also want to encourage you two things. I want to encourage you about number one, please be leery of the people who come out and say, and I have a foliar nitrogen product, and I think everybody should use it because it adds test weight and it makes a big difference in yield. And it really helps you to make more money.


[00:04:45] That being said, there are people who sell a product that is similar to ours and they make statements like, yeah, two gallons of this product will replace 60 pounds of nitrogen. Uh, no, sometimes when we're out and we are foliar feeding that 2600, we do get a huge response. And so I want to encourage you to send in a couple of tests that are 24 inches deep because sometimes in the zero to 12 inch, we may not have very much in, because it may have already leeched down. A while it's still in the soil profile, at this moment, it is positionally unavailable. In other words, we don't have the routes to drive down and get it.


[00:05:28] So what happens is we foliar feed some 26, a couple of gallon of the 2600. A pair in mind guys, you're only putting on a grand total of about 21 pounds of product and it's only 26% nitrogen. So we're talking about putting on about six pounds of N. And so what we are looking at here is saying we're not going to replace that, but we're going to excite the roots and what if there is nitrogen there?


[00:05:53] So if you do a soil test at zero to 12 and you do another one from 12 to 24, and all of a sudden you find out you have a lot of nitrogen in that 12 to 24 inch part of the soil, maybe we need to figure out how to drive those roots. What can we do to ignite those roots to blow up, take off and go get that? That's one of the things. But the other thing just simply is maybe, just maybe, we don't have enough N to take us home. You guys know I'm not a proponent of monster nitrogen rates because I'm not. I'm a proponent of getting exactly what we need. No more, no less. And we can monitor that right now. And then you say, what are we going to do?


[00:06:28] Well, we can be looking for; I'd be looking for a Haggy with a set of white drops, if it was me. But there are some options as to what you can do and how you can apply late season in if you happen to be an individual with a pivot. Obviously it's a real simple fix. You can apply 28 ammonium fersulfate right through that pivot.


[00:06:46] So, and realizing that nitrogen hasn't flushed down very far, but we may not have the, you know, we, we've just got to make sure that it's where we want it. We just want to do the soil test. So I want to encourage you guys to do that. But what you're looking for is remembering that about 10% is going to be what it takes to maintain the life in the soil.


[00:07:03] And that we're going to try and get up there somewhere between that 25 or eight to 10 parts per million. I apologize. And we're going to get up to about 25 or 30 parts per million total to take that crop home. And now would be a great time to go out there. Pull a few tests. They're not very expensive. Get them babysit in the Midwest Labs.


[00:07:21] If you guys would like to talk about this, talk about some things that we can do this late in the season to up your yields and up your profits. Feel free to hit us up with a message right here on the Facebook Page. Or give me a call, 6 4 1 9 1 9 1 2 0 6. Send me a text. We would absolutely love to talk to you. I hope you guys are having a better day.



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Missed the previous episode? Here you go:


What's In Your Tank Mix? Ep54