Fertilizer

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Ordered some fertilizer today, I've been thinking I'd like to get the nutrients balanced at least on a few acres. Turns out "a few acres" is all I can afford to do. Looks like I picked a bad year to start down this rabbit hole.
Fortunately I didn't need nitrogen, some dealers are completely out.
 
I know that fertilizer is high, but our low fertility East Texas soils were farmed to death and then set out in grass. Some of these soils need some help just to have something grow other than a weed. Most all need lime.
 
I just started down this path with a soil specialist. I did not know there was more to fertilizer than just throwing out some N or some NPK. I think in a year or two I'll know a lot more about it and whether or not is was worth it.
 
There is a lot of work being done on using annual mixes to increase fertility.
Not a new idea, but most corn and bean specialists have had a very narrow education.
Works best where you have a long growing season and consistent rain...
 
I know that fertilizer is high, but our low fertility East Texas soils were farmed to death and then set out in grass. Some of these soils need some help just to have something grow other than a weed. Most all need lime.
I use chicken litter on my hay patches and usually put some nitrate, but didn't this year because of the high price.
This is in Leon county.
As long as I'm making hay my phosphorus levels are good.
 
I use chicken litter on my hay patches and usually put some nitrate, but didn't this year because of the high price.
This is in Leon county.
As long as I'm making hay my phosphorus levels are good.
I am glad that you have access to chicken litter. Leon County has a lot of low inherent sandy soils. Litter can as organic matter over a period of years. I know fertilizer is high, but if you would look at putting 100 lbs/acre of urea out for the first cutting to jump start the slow release of the nitrogen from the litter, I believe the costs will be offset by increased production.
 
How are you measuring these increases in health?
Soil and forage analysis done by a professional and dumbed down for me. He will be doing annual tests and walk throughs.
It's a lot to take in. For me anyway because I never really paid much attention other than basic observations. For instance, the K/Mg ratio was something I'd never heard of. This ratio is probably the single most important ratio to keep in balance in soils, according to the expert. My fields run in the .08 range when they should be in the .25-.35 range.
But I do have some fields with organic matter levels from 10% to 21% which is excellent. I did not know that a field with 10% plus OM can produce enough N to satisfy the N needs of a hay crop.
 
Lots of experts and lots of seminars out there on soil health.
The ratio guys have been around for a while, and so there is data out there on what happens when you chemical fertilize accordingly.
The more recent experts are all about soil biology and how to stimulate it. Turns out cows work very well if you manage the grazing correctly.
 
Lots of experts and lots of seminars out there on soil health.
The ratio guys have been around for a while, and so there is data out there on what happens when you chemical fertilize accordingly.
The more recent experts are all about soil biology and how to stimulate it. Turns out cows work very well if you manage the grazing correctly.
Ya, grazing on hay fields other than late fall is pretty counter productive around here.
 
There is a lot of work being done on using annual mixes to increase fertility.
Not a new idea, but most corn and bean specialists have had a very narrow education.
Works best where you have a long growing season and consistent rain...
Exactly
 

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