By Clint Thompson
The Georgia Cotton Commission and University of Georgia Extension remind producers to be diligent in their use of important fertilizers.
Glen Harris, University of Georgia (UGA) professor and Extension agronomist in environmental soil and fertilizer, highlights the importance of growers not cutting corners with fertilizer applications amid an era of high prices.
“I think we need to go on with business as normal as much as we can. We’ve got to get these crops off to a good start,” Harris said. “Cotton and corn, you want to put most of your P (phosphorous) and K (potassium) out at planting anyway and enough nitrogen to get started to come back. We need to just go on and fertilize for good yields up front like we normally do.”
Fertilizer prices for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are especially high. Harris said earlier this year that nitrogen prices were 95 cents per pound, compared to 50 cents in 2020. Phosphorous costs are 67 cents per pound, compared to 40 cents in 2020. Potassium expenses are 68 cents per pound, compared to 34 cents in 2020.
Maybe more concerning is product availability. Harris is worried what it could mean for growers who need to sidedress nitrogen if they can’t get the product.
“The only thing I’m a little concerned about is if we can’t get sidedress nitrogen, of course, if we can’t get it out, there’s no easy answers for that. If they could get a hold of chicken litter now, but that’s getting harder to get a hold of,” Harris said. “That helps, but even thing it’s hard to sidedress with chicken litter. We just don’t have a lot of good nitrogen sources to put on at sidedressing on these crops.
“It sounds like I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best but that’s kind of what I’m doing.”