The biggest part of maintaining soil fertility is regular soil testing.
With large yields the past few years, such as 250 bushel corn and 70 bushel soybeans, there is a need to replace nutrients in the field.
“There’s a lot of phosphorus and potassium that goes off in that grain truck hauling things to the elevator,” said Marion Shier, an agronomist with United Soils in Fairbury.
Electronic files can be created from the combine yield monitor which allows retailers to put fertility back into the field based on the yield in certain locations.
Shier says the soils need cold winter temperatures in order to properly kill all of the insects. This means temperatures of at least 20 degrees four inches deep. Shier also encourages growers to pay close attention to soil temperatures at the time of fertilizer application.
Shier visited with farmers during the recent Greater Peoria Farm Show at the Peoria Civic Center.