Balancing Nitrogen Levels in Soil

Channel Seedsman Gary Sorenson explains how residue decomposition can tie up nitrogen early in the year.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Although nitrogen can be tied up early in the year, it will eventually be released during residue decomposition.
  • Usually, nitrogen is released from decomposition after silking and pollination during the reproductive stage.
How has the ability to balance nitrogen levels in soil provided benefit to your farm?

With residue decomposition, it can really tie up your nitrogen early in the year. So you have to be careful to get enough, the black soil enough so you don't tie up too much of the nitrogen early. Then, later in the season as that residue decomposes, it releases a lot more nitrogen. So if you're continuous corn, you're going to see a benefit from the residue later in the season. So after silking, after pollination, that's when you'll see that corn residue really release a lot of the nitrogen and you'll see a nice boost from the residue. It really helps to have multiple forms of nitrogen on that doesn't get tied up too much in the residue. So if you have more than one form, you always have some nitrogen available to the plant in the early stages. Plants not using as much nitrogen then, it really starts using more nitrogen, more in the reproductive stage. So that's where that residue, when it starts releasing the nitrogen, really benefits the crop at that time.

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