The Month of March has Arrived in December

December 14, 2015 9:34 PM
Blog Post

It looks like the month of March has arrived in December. 

There have been rain amounts of 1.3 to 2.3 in the area. I know that is not much compared to the 3-4 inches of rain in central Iowa. However, it looks really wet in the area. There is water standing in the fields and water running out of the fields. Drainage tile mains are running full.

There is some concern about affects on fertilizer applied last fall. Soil temperatures remain in the 40s, so there is some conversion of fall applied ammonia to nitrate. The conversion would be pretty slow, but, nonetheless, some conversion would occur. There also would be some movement of that nitrate out of the soil profile.

The big concern will be next spring. Excessive rains next spring could cause more nitrogen loss from fall-applied ammonia. Obviously soil profiles are full of moisture, and excess moisture next spring will move nitrate out of the profile as warm spring soil temperatures will convert fertilizer nitrogen to nitrate.

Farmers should consider making plans to apply additional nitrogen next spring or early summer. 

Recent rains have caused field runoff.

 

 

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Paul Kassel Field Agronomist in NW Iowa

Paul Kassel provides research based crop production information to area farmers and agribusiness. Educational programs are available for farmers, agribusiness, pesticide applicators, and certified crop advisors.

Areas of expertise include soil survey, crop production, soil ferti...