There has been some rumbling on Twitter the past couple of weeks of some anhydrous ammonia applications. There were no specifics about the location, state or anything, but it has drawn concerns.
Here’s the deal, nitrogen cannot be applied on soils that are not a sustained 50 degrees or below at the four-inch level.
The Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association and other groups have been preaching this for a long time. In fact, ICGA now has a website that provides information on soil temperatures in each county.
In covering this topic for a long time, I’ve heard concerns about the push to apply all fertilizer in the spring. Opponents don’t think it can get done due to logistics and so forth — I get that.
However, if applications must be done in the fall for whatever reason, abide by the recommendations. If one doesn’t go by the 50-degree rule, don’t complain later about the ramifications.
None of us want more government in our lives in the form of regulations. The Corn Belt does not want to be the next Chesapeake Bay.
However, a trend toward fertilizer applications before the recommended soil temperature is an open invitation for regulations. Unless that’s what you want, go by the recommendations.