The Four Rs of Nutrient Management

Nov 03, 2020

By Sarah Houin, Argos Agronomy, CCA

The 4Rs of nutrient management are commonly referred to when talking about proper nutrient application. Considering the right source, right rate, right time, and right place guide you to practices that help keep nutrients in the field. Implementation of the 4R's aligns the economic, environmental, and social components of nutrient management. Giving these practices fair consideration means gathering data, knowing your field's history, and awareness of your crops needs during application. Below you'll find a brief rundown of the 4Rs and things you can do when applying them to your crop.

Watch Video: Weather Impact on Soil Sampling & Analysis and Fall Burndowns

Right Source, Rate, Timing, and Place

Right Source:There are several options for providing nutrients to your crops. Some operations have the ability to handle liquid, while others prefer to stick with dry. Does it make sense to use a slow release fertilizer, or does it need to be available immediately? Diagnostic tests, soil sampling, and other agronomic services can help determine these needs.

Right Rate: Have your soil sampled. Knowing your farm's needs will help calibrate application equipment and prevent a surplus and waste of nutrients.

Right Timing: Due to different physiologies, the crop will have a higher demand of certain nutrients through out its lifecycle. Weather and other environmental factors also play an important role. Keeping up to date on the changing environment and then matching it to the needs of the field will allow you to maximize your ROI.

Right Place: This is relative to placement of the plant as well as placement within the field. Use variable rate seeding data to apply more nutrients to the location where more will be utilized. Apply nutrients closer to the root zone especially when plants are small, or if the nutrient can easily tie up in the soil.

When incorporating the four R’s into your operation, make sure to track the results and test for accuracy. What works on your neighbor’s farm may not work on yours.What may work on one field, may not work on another. Co-Alliance Argos Agronomy has the tools and the technology to understand your acres put the right products in the right place at the right time. Soil sampling, field scouting, and other services are available for your area. Contact Us today to get started.

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