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What Happens to Nitrogen After a Dry Season?

August 19, 2013
By: Ellie Murphy, Farm Journal Media Intern
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Farm Journal’s Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie discusses the effects of a dry season on leftover nitrogen in Episode 9 of Corn College TV Season 3. He says that, unfortunately, much of the nitrogen leftover by the last season’s failed crops leave nitrogen in water-soluble nitrate form.

Nitrate can be flushed out by heavy rainfall in the fall and spring, leaving the soil in need of an extra boost. Ferrie says that nutrients can be contained by using cover crops that will reduce losses, helping to keep in the nitrogen supply.

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"If you’re growing soybeans next year after your failed corn crop," he says, "that may not be such a good thing because it could create a lazy soybean that has some trouble getting nodulated." However, a corn on corn crop will help to scavenge that leftover nitrogen.

Listen to Episode 9 below of Corn College TV Season 3 to learn more from Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie and Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer.

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