Fall Fertilizer Could Mean Big Spring

As growers wrap up harvest every year, farmer attention turns to preparing fields for the following spring. Fall fertilizer applications can offer many benefits to growers looking to save time and money. Steve Carlsen is the Levesol and Crop Enhancement Manager with CHS Agronomy. He says soils need to have the necessary nutrients for crops in the spring, and talks about why fall fertilizer applications can be a big advantage for farmers.

“It’s really an ideal time to get a lot of those key nutrients into that soil ahead of the season. Applying phosphorous at the end of that year before a freeze can really help make sure you have the things in place for the following growing season. So, hitting that fall window when we have fairly good fall conditions this year can really be an advantage for both time and making sure we have a great setup for next year. The other part I like is when you make that application in the fall, typically we’re getting some tillage or different incorporation methods to make sure more that application is getting into that root zone or incorporating that soil where we can maximize the overall fit.”

He says phosphorous is essential for plant growth and talks about why tie-up is an issue.

“I really like what it does in terms of the overall forming of that building block. It’s helping get that root germination and that strength of growth early in the season, phosphorous is a key component in all those things. It’s deficient in the majority of soils that we deal with, and the reason we see a lot of that overall deficiency is it’s kind of tough on the soil. With the charge that we have on phosphorous, it often gets bound up in the soil with either key micronutrients or some of those other positive cations in the soil, so it could be micronutrients like zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and some of these other things can really bind it up. And, if we look at most soils, we probably only get about 20 percent of that phosphorous that we apply actually contributing to that crop.”

That means the tie-up in the soil can cause farmers to lose up to 80 percent of their phosphorus application. Carlsen talks about how growers can avoid phosphorus getting tied up in the soil.

“A great way we can do that is incorporating a product like Trivar, which is a new nutrient enhancement product. When we look at this new product Trivar, what it really does is help overcome that binding in the soil that we see with those positive cations. A key component in there is the Levesol chelate technology, and what this does is it prevent that binding from happening by freeing up those micronutrients and protecting that phosphorous to allow more availability to that crop. So really, it’s a great fit in helping increase that overall phosphorous and micronutrient availability.”

He talks about how Trivar helps farmers get the most out of their applications.

“The other part that’s really nice here is having multiple modes of action. Trivar, as it’s secondary piece, has a phosotase enzyme, and this enzyme is present in every single soil globally and it has one job: It converts the unavailable phosphate that’s in that soil to a plant-available form. Again, this reaction happens naturally in the soil, but with Trivar and impregnating it on that phosphate fertilizer, you’re jump-starting that reaction and beginning that conversion right away, making more of that phosphate available to that crop.”

For more information on Trivar from CHS Agronomy, growers can go to www.trivarfertilizer.com or contact your local CHS agronomy representative.