Dave Mengal Corn School

Hi this is Dave Mengel, Professor at K-State and I am down at Hesston, at the AGCO headquarters today. We’re at the Corn School that’s being conducted sponsored by K-State and the Corn Commission and Pioneer. And today we’re talking about various aspects of corn production, but my topic is relating to soil fertility and how to do an economical job, cost effective job, fertilizing corn for 2015. One of the reasons that this topic really came up is with decline in some of our commodity prices over the past few months, some little bit of pressure to make sure that we do a cost effective job of organization. So, we’re gonna talk about some of the basic concepts, things like soil testing, how to go about doing some soil testing, to get the best information to make fertilizer recommendations. We’ll talk a little bit about starter fertilizer use and how that plays in to this whole process. And we’ll talk quite a bit about nitrogen since that’s one of our big expenses in corn production. And how to get the most efficient utilization of our nitrogen fertilizer that we’re gonna be using. We also try to talk a little bit about some of our research work that’s been going on over the last four or five years, related to fertilizer use. So we’ll talk about some of the new tools that are out there, like crop sensors for example. We’ll talk about some of the newer products on the market. Some controlled release fertilizer products or urease or nitrification inhibitors, where these might fit in this area in terms of getting better efficiency, getting better use out of the fertilizers that we’re applying. The other thing is that this is the International Year of Soils. As a soils scientist, that’s a big deal for me. But for a farmer it’s a big deal too, from the standpoint that one of the big things that we have to focus on when we’re talking about nitrogen fertilization especially, is the characteristics of the soil that we’re using to grow that crop, particularly things like drainage, soil texture, how it fits in the landscape, and how that will influence nitrogen loss from that soil. So, we’ll talk a little bit about how to assess some of those properties of your situation to get the most bang for your buck.

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