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United Prairie LLC News

Processing Another Production Season

As we reach the end of another production season, we’re in the process of collecting and analyzing our 2018 data. As always, some of the preliminary results have been interesting.

Early cold temperatures impacted the availability of nitrogen from organic matter.

First, some observations from our nitrogen studies. Our post-black-layer soil sample results, both nitrate and ammonium from the 0”-24” levels showed very little residual nitrogen remaining following the crop, regardless of how much N was applied. This came as a surprise, though having seen the visual differences within the corn treatments, perhaps it should not have.

As to a cause, I suspect that our cold April played a major role. Compared to the past three years, I believe the low temperatures resulted in much less mineralized nitrogen from organic matter being available to the corn crop early in the growing season. My estimate would be that the nitrogen available through mineralization, which had provided a good measure of N the past three years, was reduced by 50% this year.

This finding was a wake-up call to us and may cause us to re-evaluate nitrogen programs to prevent any future shortcomings in N that may be available from organic matter. More to come on this.

Turning to yields, reports that we have received from the field show a fairly wide variation. Overall, yields have been good. What is interesting is the fact that we’re finding a high degree of variation within certain fields. We’re working now to unravel the causes of that variation.

Finally, we are currently posting plot results and other items of interest on our website. Be sure to check out UP Trial Results on our website periodically as we continue to update as harvest progresses.

Jeff Brown Jeff Brown
Agronomy Manager
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