From the Farm: Fertilizer planning

The Morning Show

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Some farmers follow a successful plan every year, but others are always looking for the latest yield-booster, but how will they know when something will work or not?

For this From the Farm segment, WCIA Ag Reporter Stu Ellis takes us to the field with a new research concept.

Illini FS is working with farmers to create small fertility trials that can be evaluated throughout the growing season.

“We’ve invested in a John Deere Gator and we’ve outfitted it to make dry and liquid applications and also be able to map these applications so they can seamlessly tie into a grower’s existing operation,” says Agronomist Eric Beckett.

“So really we are looking at doing small blocks within a field and they’ll either be random at our discretion, or they can be targeted with the help of the grower,” Beckett says, “and really these areas try to minimize field effects or past treatment effects from previous operations.”

As an example, farmers could do a strip trial with a boron application, which has shown to be a yield booster recently.

“We would come in with a dry or liquid application, with their pre-plant,” he says. “Apply that first in the spring. Then we could come back with our V-4 or V-5 application and do another application of boron over the top, either dry or liquid again.

“We’ve got the capability to do both type of applications with our John Deere Gator. It could be a random or targeted application. And we’ve got the latest guidance equipment, so we can follow the same path they may have already established within the field, and then also be able to map that into, follow that throughout the growing season, so that data can seamlessly match up with harvest data later on.”

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