It seems questions have risen from time to time on what our stand is when it comes to fertilization of soil to grow a crop. Hopefully this clears it up!
It has always been our position that it does take N, P, and K, as well as other nutrients to grow a crop. As better yields are harvested, more nutrients are taken from the soil to produce these yields. You should always follow your state university crop nutrients level report. For example, the university report in our training manual says a medium reading on P1 in a soil test report is between 31-40, and a high P1 reading is 41-60 and anything above 61 is considered very high. While the K reading shows a 136 – 200 is medium, 201-300 is high, and over 301 is very high.
Most university tests show a medium level of P and K (provided the other nutrients are available) in the soil will produce 98% of a normal crop in a normal year. So why should we keep adding P and K where soil test readings are above 60 P and 300 K? We shouldn’t.
Going back to our policy –we should take soil tests (I prefer taking them in the fall of the year and take them in the same month and week each year) and if these tests are above the 60 and 300 level, we are wasting money by adding additional plow down in the fall or spring. We do recommend an application of a starter (3-18-18 True Solution) and drop it right on the seed. This can vary from corn, soybean, wheat, alfalfa, vegetable crop, etc. (See your local representative/distributor for details on application rates).
What we are saying is very simple–if you have a good soil test, quite wasting money and don’t apply plow down. It isn’t the same as money in the bank as it does leach and doesn’t pay any interest. Watch your soil test and when it gets down to the 40 level, think about 100 pounds of 0-46-0 or some other type of phosphorus and as your K reading gets down below 200, think about 100 pounds of 0-0-60 or some other type of K. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can crow a crop without N, P, and K.
Again, it is simple–watch your soil test. If it gets to the 40-200 level, think about plow down, not before. You can always call us, or your local distributor with any questions. We are farmers helping farmers.