Nutrient strategies for 2018

Given the very patchy 2017 season, how shall we approach crop nutrition in 2018?  In November 2017, Rob Norton gave a webinar for ExtensionAUS Crop Nutrition on this topic. Rob is the Regional Director for the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI).

The main crop nutrition strategies Rob suggested:

  • do soil tests
  • use N and P budgets based on the long-term, multi-crop system
  • band some starter P at sowing, near the seed row
  • allocate P to the most responsive crops first (cereals and peas before canola)
  • remember failed legume crops will provide some fixed N
  • take a short-term, tactical view with N
  • invest early in N top ups (between DC31 and DC55)
  • keep an eye on S and K, especially after hay removal
  • balanced soil nutrition is important, as is the interaction between soil nutrients.

The soil nitrogen (N) available depends on the previous legume crop yield, seed inoculation effectiveness and soil pH. Use skip-row banding of N at sowing to avoid seed damage.

From most to least – 2017 crops contribution to soil N:

  • faba bean crops that failed due to frost or disease
  • good faba bean crops
  • lentil or chickpea crops that failed due to frost
  • pulse crops that failed due to drought
  • good canola crops
  • wheat crops cut for hay
  • good grain wheat crops.

Watch the Rob Norton webinar Nov 2017  to learn more on all these points.

More information

Reviewing crop nutrition decisions

Estimating N from pulses

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