Residual nitrogen “potentially usable” for corn in dry areas

Corn farmers in areas that were dry in 2023 could see a yield boost from residual nitrogen this year. 

University of Minnesota Extension soil scientist Brad Carlson says dryness has plagued large portions of the Corn Belt the past few years.

“We know that in some places the crops didn’t perform to their full potential. And of course in those instances, particularly in a corn crop, we know that it probably ended up leaving nitrogen behind just simply because the crop didn’t pick it up.”

He tells Brownfield the nitrates are potentially usable for corn on corn and Carlson encourages growers to take a soil nitrate test ahead of planting.

“Realize that the loss processes of nitrate are water-based, so if it were to get really wet this spring we could potentially lose some of that.”

Carlson says that’s one reason farmers should time their soil test as late as possible.

Brownfield interviewed Carlson at the MN Ag Expo in Mankato Wednesday morning.

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