Fertilizing Crops in the New Price Age - Phophorus and Potassium

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2008-12-11
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Mallarino, Antonio
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Proceedings of the Integrated Crop Management Conference
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management Conference is Iowa's premier crop production education event. No other program in Iowa brings together the diverse range of topics, slate of expert presenters and results of the latest University research.

The ICM Conference offers workshops focusing on the latest in crop production technology. Experts from Iowa and surrounding states will provide research updates and results in soil fertility, soil and water management, crop production and pest management.

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Profitable crop production requires appropriate soil phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) levels, so careful fertilization planning is required. Grain and fertilizer prices have increased significantly during the last two years. Increasing prices may not be a major issue as long as the historical ratio between crop and fertilizer prices is approximately maintained. Recently, however, fertilizer prices have been increasing steadily while grain prices have fluctuated significantly If there is a crop yield response to fertilization, high crop prices certainly help pay for more expensive fertilizer and may result in even greater net return to fertilization than when crop prices are low. The problem is that largely unpredictable price fluctuations complicate fertilization decisions and encourage many producers to change production practices and cut fertilizer rates. Reducing P and K rates across all conditions is not necessarily a good management decision, however.

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