IndianCreek » Nutrient Use Efficiency » MicroEssentials

Micro-Essentials

Keep nutrients in the Right Place, where crops can use them.
 
 
A soil test showed a relatively low phosphorus level, so we selected a demonstration of Mosaic’s Micro-Essentials (MESZ) applied as a side-dress (plant nutrients placed on or in the soil near the roots of a growing crop) treatment to provide an additional boost in available phosphorus.
 
 
MESZ allows uniform nutrient distribution and provides essential nutrients crops need in one granule. It has two forms of sulfur for season-long nutrition.
 
It was side-dressed at two rates with a control plot where it was not applied.

Operation
 
Herb and Aaron Steffen, of Cropsey, Ill., operate a 900 acre grain farm in southern Livingston and northern Mclean counties. Two thirds of the acreage is devoted to continuous corn with one third in a corn/soybean rotation.
 
Minimum tillage practices are used to leave at least 30% residue on the soil surface.
 
Nitrogen is applied after the corn has emerged, and when the plant needs are the greatest, to minimize loss of nitrogen through leaching.
 
Currently there are three test plots on the Steffen farm.
 
 

Right Source

Match fertilizer type to crop needs

+ Select appropriate nutrient sources for cropping system
+ Test soils
+ Consider N, P, K secondary and micronutrient
+ Consider enhanced efficiency fertilizers
+ Plan nutrient regimen

Right Time

Make nutrients available when crops need them

+ Time the application
+ Consider controlled release technologies and inhibitors
+ Choose fertilizer product

Right Place

Keep nutrients where crops can use them

+ Choose application method
+ Incorporate fertilizer
+ Use buffer strips
+ Use conservation tillage
+ Implement cover crop systems

Right Rate

Match amount of fertilizer to crop needs
 
+ Test soils
+ Yield goal analysis
+ Crop removal balance
+ Nutrient management planning
+ Plant tissue analysis
+ Record keeping
+ Variable rate technology
+ Site-specific management