With dry spring weather in charge for the foreseeable future, questions about top-dressing combinable crops are in people’s minds and here we review the position with liquid fertilisers.
The pattern of frosty nights and cold days has been in place for long enough to slow growth and harden winter crops off so there is no reason not to continue liquid topdressing in the current conditions.
While soil surface conditions remain dry, liquid N+S gets into the soil and is drawn down into the dry layer towards moisture and the roots and many situations have shown enhanced crop responses to liquids during dry conditions.
The normal guidelines on applying liquid nitrogen remain in place, always wait for a dry leaf and aim to get OSR and winter barley top-dressing completed first. Application on OSR is okay when flowering and take care to avoid application in windy conditions (when the stream pattern breaks up soon after leaving the boom) as crops get larger.
It certainly look’s like dry spring conditions are becoming the norm and the benefit of planning ahead and getting an early single application of all the top-dressing requirement of winter crops with DIDIN is an option that continues to gain interest and traction. Applying the full season requirement with DIDIN at the time of the first application ensures that the nitrogen is in the soil and the release of nitrate to the crop is steadily controlled over the following 2-3 months, improving nitrogen use efficiency, saving application costs, reducing environmental impact but perhaps most importantly during dry conditions, ensuring the nitrogen is in the root zone of the crop.
Ensure you’re monitoring crops and keeping a close eye on them with SAP Analysis. Maintaining crop nutrition levels during dry spring weather, will help the plant to withstand stress. Your local sales manager will be able to advise on the best foliar nutrition programme to suit your crop.