Seems like everyone has a blog, newsletter or magazine article on nitrogen and corn yields for the 2011 crop. Well I guess I will chime in with my .02 worth on the topic this Friday.
A pound of N is a pound of N. (Yea, we all know that I hope by now.) It is where, how and when you place that N that matters most. In 2011 where, how and when made all the difference in the world. Yet there are still fertilizer dealers and farmers who are flat out in denial.
I have been told that some calculations have already been done here locally by a few farmers that their sidedressed corn had a $200/ac advantage to their preplant corn. I believe that is the case and think is higher in some instances. A lot higher in some instances. Based on the available N testing that I did this spring, testing for both Nitrate and Ammonia N, there were many instances of preplant N loss, (urea, solution and anhydrous) of 50% with some fields I tested losing 75% by the time the corn was V2 – V3. Some of those fields didn’t have corn growing in them by the 20th of April either…………
Fields with preplant N, where the farmer either tested and believed the results or assumed a N loss based on crop color and looks by V5-V6, and then sidedressed supplemental N at between 50 and 75 lbs/ac, and reported to me a 50-70 bu/ac yield increase over doing nothing.
So 50 bu/ac @ $6/bu = $300/ac Gross minus 75 lbs N/ac @ .50/lb = $37.50/ac Cost equals $262.50 NET/ac (no labor or machine cost subtracted).
So on 100 ac that’s another $26,250 of profit…………..Sidedressed N, applied with a knife, in the ground, between the corn rows.
Will that hold true every year……….. probably not. But if a pound of N is a pound of N and placement and timing are everything, then how much are you willing to give up for convenience? $262/ac? $200/ac?? $50/ac??
In that range of numbers above is a lot of the cash rent that is paid in this area……….Where, how and when could have easly paid your cash rent………plus a great return on your time an machiney investment.
Where, how and when was everything this year……..