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Fertilizing

Nutrient management is essential to soil health and we’ve contacted the experts to guide you – read their tips for raising a successful forage crop.

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On the first day in soil science class, we teach that soil is definitely not the same as dirt. Dirt has no value. That’s why your momma fussed at you about tracking it in her house. But soil has value.

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Some farmers in Pennsylvania and New York grow winter annual small grains for forage before and after corn silage. Producing two crops in succession, or double-cropping, offers multiple benefits such as reducing soil erosion; improving nutrient retention and weed suppression; and enhancing soil structure and biological activity.

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For production and persistence of our forages, maintaining soil fertility is critical. Any fertilization recommendation should begin with the use of a soil analysis.

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Above-average rainfall equals above-average problems

Producers throughout much of the southeast U.S. have received above-average rainfall since Hurricane Michael hit last fall. Many of these producers have battled waterlogged soils and cloudy weather that led to delayed plantings or reduced yields of winter annual forages.

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Misconceptions abound on how much nitrogen is lost from applying urea on pastures and hay fields. Some producers think they can lose all the nitrogen applied as urea if certain conditions exist.

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If attending a planning and zoning meeting ranks right up there at the top of your list of exciting things to do, then, baby, you’re on the right track applying manure to your fields on a chilly morning with the wind blowing straight toward your neighbor. Just remember (when you’re sitting in that planning and zoning meeting defending agricultural practices and thinking you’d rather watch paint dry), you asked for it.

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