Big Yields Demand Big Nutrient Supplies

In 2016, the U.S. recorded an incredible year for crop production. Nationwide, corn yields averaged 174.6 bushels per acre, according to USDA’s crop production report from January. For soybeans, yield averages were 52.1 bushels per acre, which was a record high.

Now is the perfect time to strategize for realizing a repeat high-yielding performance in 2017. In particular, consider that high yields in one year may have a limiting effect on yields in the following year if nutrients aren’t replaced. High yields can drain soil nutrients. By prioritizing field fertility, you can not only supplement the nutrients that may already be available at low concentrations in your area but also replace nutrients depleted by previous bin-busting crops.

Throughout the country, consider that some nutrients more than others consistently tend to present a greater deficiency threat. This story from AgWeb summarizes a recent industry analysis that measured nutrient levels in plant samples from corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops. In the corn samples studied, low potassium, nitrogen, zinc, manganese, sulfur and boron were consistently issues. Potassium, manganese and copper commonly troubled soybeans.

To measure the effect that big yields have had on nutrient removal in your fields, consider having several tools at the ready. First, a soil test can summarize a particular sample’s strengths and weaknesses from a nutrients perspective. Also, you can consider using a tool like the Fertilizer Removal by Crop app from Ag PhD.

With the app, you can estimate nutrient removal caused by raising tens of different crops. Just pick a crop, enter your yield level, and the tool estimates the nutrients removed by the grain and stover. Assuming that a corn crop yields 174.6 bushels per acre — the same as the 2016 national average — it removes an estimated 236 pounds of potassium, 196 pounds of nitrogen, 0.45 pounds of zinc, 1.44 pounds of manganese, 26 pounds of sulfur and 0.46 pounds of boron per acre.

At, we want our growers to have access to crop fertility solutions that supply the nutrients that they’ll need to get big yields again in 2017. In this video, Kent Kauffman of explains about using our Yield Booster product to deliver the right nutrients. Yield Booster blends a 12-9-6 fertilizer with seven vital micronutrients.

Please call or email anytime for more information about optimizing crop fertility for 2017.

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