Fertilizer Plans Dec 17

Fertilizer Plans Dec 17

Mike Stephens
Mike Stephens
News Reporter
For California Ag Today, I’m Mike Stephens

Farmers share fertilizer plans.

The Farm Progress PANEL takes on the elephant in the room – plans for 2022 crop nutrition

With input prices rising in tandem with rising crop returns, farmers are both upset and still on the hook to plant for 2022. In light of stories about rising nitrogen prices, along with other inputs, the Farm Progress PANEL asked about plans for the new planting season.

The question? With fertilizer prices rising, what are you considering for 2022?

About 16% report they're looking at nitrogen alternatives, and there are more on the market for 2022 than ever. Whether they're looking at biological sources, or other tools, this number is probably a lot higher than if asked in 2020.

About one-fifth report they're applying their fall fertilizer base and watching spring prices. It's a "bet on the future" approach that has worked in the past. The challenge for those growers will be keeping tabs on prices and moving if they drop to capture a better price.

A little more than 22% are changing their fertilizer plans responding that they are making planned reductions for 2022. There is some evidence, depending on soil type, that increase mineralization of available nitrogen may help cover farms. The trick is what types of soil, but it's a strategy that may pay off.

Most farmers responding, 42% show the optimism of agriculture that keeps farmers on the land. They responded that they were making "no change, we'll get through this." It's a positive response in tough times.

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