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Nitrogen loss from excess moisture in Minnesota fields

Oversaturated soils are resulting in lost crop nutrients.

University of Minnesota Extension educator Brad Carlson says many fields are several inches above water-holding capacity.

“The loss processes of nitrogen are water-based. So when we have saturated conditions that’s when we’re at high risk for losing nitrogen, either through leaching down through the profile through the tile lines, or through denitrification up into the air.”

He tells Brownfield farmers dealing with wet conditions should consider a rescue treatment.

“It’s an unplanned fertilizer application. Particularly, we’re seeing that fields that had fall manure are looking quite tough. Some of the fall anhydrous, depending on what the soil conditions were like at the time of application, also are looking kind of poor.”

Carlson says those areas can benefit from an extra 30 to 40 pounds of nitrogen being applied.

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