Are You Using a Nitrogen Stabilizer That Works?

N Stabilizer Cover

Hello Everyone and over the next few weeks we are going to be sharing research from Top End Farming from two years of research at their farm in Northern Illinois.  They studied tons of different products and had dozens and dozens of replications with a big emphasis on micro-nutrients. 2018 was a year full of changes and weather challenges but it was a great learning experience. Dan from Top End Farming used a 4 row plot planter. They experienced heavy rains all year which challenged everything from emergence to making timely spray passes. Having wet feet all year certainly knocked a lot of the Top End yield potential out, but it also provided a great learning opportunity for us all.  The studies on starter formulations were eye opening and so were the nitrogen studies. More N isn’t always the answer to yellow corn. 😉

Dan pulled soil tests in the fall of 2017 to see what was needed and at what rates. Nitrogen was sprayed on behind the planter at a rate of 60gal of 32% unless otherwise noted. Mid-season the entire plot was Y-dropped with 10gal. 32% and 5gal. of ATS.

While Dan strives to maintain this as an independent plot, we are indeed distributors with Conklin and we firmly believe you will not find a higher quality product anywhere. Conklin also provides top end knowledge sharing.

Everything we do is based off of specific soil tests, field by field.  So, we’re not throwing blind darts at the wall wasting ANY money. This is why we highly recommend everyone uses MidWest Labs from Omaha, NE to run independent soil tests. We look forward to sharing results with you over the next few weeks!

First up, the Nitrogen study.  It was conducted using three different rates of 32% and two different stabilizers. 40, 50, and 60 gallon rates were used stand alone and with Instinct and Guardian.

Instinct has an active ingredient of nitrapyrin.  It is a popular stabilizer but comes with a down side of causing corrosion and destroying soil bacteria.

Guardian has an active ingredient of dicyandiamide.  It is non-corrosive to your equipment and doesn’t kill valuable soil bacteria.


  • Plot #34: 40 gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt Guardian yielded 217.34bpa
  • Plot #35: 40gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 212.65bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 4.69 BPA

  • Plot #36: 40 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 213bpa
  • Plot #37: 50 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 208.12bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 4.88 BPA

  • Plot #38: 50 Gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 235.01bpa
  • Plot #39: 50 Gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt Guardian yielded 279.72bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 44.71 BPA

  • Plot #40: 60 Gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt of Guardian yielded 276.28bpa
  • Plot #41: 60 Gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 265.43bpa
  • Plot #42: 60 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 250.27bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 10.85

Cost of both stabilizers is $9/acre

N Stabilizer

Please note: at the beginning of the 2018 season Dan approached several other local retailers in his area and offered his soil test and some strips in the plot to see how their products would compare they all admittedly refused to take part and therefore the few competitive products in the trials were obtained from their customers.

Let’s Take A Different Look at N Before Spring

Humble honey
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about everything that came with 2018. Drought, flooding, wind. You name it, somewhere had it last year. Harvest 2018 is not over in a lot of areas, and God bless the people who are still out trying to get done.
We’ve had incredible temperature swings this winter. Monday it was 51 degrees here in Southeast Iowa and today there’s 5 inches of snow on the ground, on top of MUD. Needless to say it’s a mess. Guys are trying to finish up “fall” work which is just crazy. This has got me thinking… What does spring look like? By now, if you have watched our LIVES, you know that I am not a fan of anhydrous. But today I want to take a more realistic approach and talk about what spring looks like.
Lots of farmers did a lot of tearing up during harvest. There are ruts everywhere that didn’t get worked in. Lots of farmers have nothing fall applied. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing) and that’s very unusual. There are a lot of people feeling a whole lot of urgency around how to get everything done.
One of the local dealerships around here is calling up ex-employees and making serious offers to try and get them to come back. Why? Because they’re trying to build staff to a point that they can get a lot done when it’s time to go this spring. They know that the work that should’ve been done last fall didn’t happen, and now they’re trying to make up for it.  To add to that we all have to deal with electronic logs and the trucks aren’t getting the stuff where it needs to be. So, here’s my question to you. How do you think that they’re going to get all that NH3 from the pickup point to the dealer, and then how’s the dealer going to get it to the dirt? I don’t see enough hours in the day. How are they going to get that 18-46-0 or that 11-52-0 and 0-0-60, another thing I’m not a fan of, or that potassium sulfate (much bigger fan.) Regardless of what you’re using, how will you get it from the terminal to the dirt? Because we’re way behind.
So, let’s take a different look. I had a guy call this week and opened his account for one reason. He said, “Rod, I’ve used anhydrous my whole life, but it’s time to make a change.” Adam wants to take a different look. He is joining us at Pro Ag in Kearney on Monday and Tuesday to learn how he can get away from it, because he don’t see any way to get it on this spring.
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We are going to help Adam use his current budget for Nitrogen and spend it smarter. We’ll start with buying $9 worth of dicyandiamide in the form of Guardian-L, which has an average ROI of $3 for every $1 invested. Then we’re going to take the dollars that are left for our Nitrogen budget, and we’re going to apply 32 with Ammonium thiosulfate. If you’d like to know the ratio we mix the 32 and ammonium thiosulfate let us know.
You can broadcast it with chemicals and incorporate it. You can strip it on and roll it in with a cultivator. There’s a host of other options we’ll work through with you. We are happy to help nail down the specifics down the road. Today, I just want you to take a different look. You don’t have to do it the same way you’ve been doing it for 5 years, 20 years, shoot maybe even 50 years.
I’ve been told in Chinese the word that means crisis also can be translated into opportunity. So if you’re on the verge of crisis, not knowing how you’re going to get N applied. Maybe THIS is YOUR opportunity to figure out how to do it differently and find a better way. If you’re open to new ideas and wanting to figure out a better way drop us a comment or call 641-919-1206.
PS: Kearney, Nebraska Pro Ag has 1 or two seats left for Monday and Tuesday Conference
South Bend, Indiana on Thursday and Friday has only a handful of seats left as well.
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Why The Right K Matters (+A Free Gift for YOU)

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Hey, guys, today we are focusing on “Why the right K matters” and we have a FREE gift for you. There is lots of new data coming out that’s being done at the university level talking about the importance of Potassium.  The studies are showing how much more K new hybrids need.  How important it is to get K into the plant early. The one that stood out to me most focuses on the relationship between using Potassium Chloride and ability to uptake of Phosphorous.

As we know, each and every nutrient impacts lots of other nutrients.  There’s lots of University research conducted studying different kinds of potassium and how using those in different ways impact how much Phosphorus would go into the corn plant. The amount of reduction from using Potassium Chloride was VERY significant, feel free to text me (641-919-1206) if you’d like to know the exact amount.

Why would we want to use a product that’s in a form that will reduce the amount of Phosphorous we can get into the plant?  The more we use…the more we need. The more 0-0-60 we put on, the more 18-46-0, and the more N it takes to get the job done. And the problem just snow balls the next year, and the next year, and so on! We just keep needing more, and more, and more. When we use the wrong form of Potassium, we reduce the amount of Phosphorous we can shove into the plant. Why do we want to do that?

Too many people want to argue the laws of nature, and the laws of chemistry, and they want to say that any Potassium is okay. And quite simply it’s not. Every choice we make matters and it is very important that we get the right form of Potassium in the field, and especially if we’re using a starter fertilizer.  Your corn plant needs Phosphorous early. But it needs more Potassium in the first 50 days. Let’s make sure we’re providing each plant with what it needs when it needs it. Let’s make sure it’s in the form that helps the plant. Let’s make sure that it’s in the form that doesn’t suppress the amount of Phosphorous we can get into it. Let’s make sure our Potassium is helping us use our Phosphorous, helping us use our Nitrogen, not hindering us.

Need Potassium Early

Now, we have a free gift for you our friend Brad sent us an article that was written by a third-party fertilizer broker, (so he’d sell anything under the sun).  He talks more about why a certain form of Potassium is better than other forms. It is great information on what form will be most PROFITABLE for you.  So if you’d like to claim your FREE gift from us & receive this article comment here with your email and we will email it to you ASAP because we really appreciate you guys.

That being said, I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Talk soon!

What micro-nutrient affects photosynthesis, chlorophyll, Nitrogen utilization, plant health, standability & more?

Get a Fresh Start

Today we want to talk about Copper.  It’s a very necessary element and levels generally increase with the clay content in soils. Available Copper is associated with organic matter in mineral type soils.  Copper is contained in several important enzymes in plants. It is involved in not only photosynthesis but also chlorophyll. Therefore, it’s a part of the enzyme system. Copper is very important because if we shut those things down we end up with a plant not performing at optimum production.  It also helps increase the sugar content in the fruits and vegetables. (Which is an indicator of plant health) Want an added bonus? It will also help keep pests away, healthier plant will be less attacked by bugs, fungus, and bacteria.

Copper is the perfect example of how every nutrient impacts other nutrients; the idea of one nutrient being the key to success is simply not true.  Like I have said before, if our pickup has rust on it, we do not have a paint deficiency. Applying a lot of paint may cover the rust, but it doesn’t fix the problem.

Canadian studies have shown an interdependency between Copper and Manganese. Crops frequently do respond to Copper applications, especially in high organic matter soils. We want to make sure that our crops have Copper to get the enzyme systems going, it’s also important to remember that heavy Copper applications may result in a Manganese deficiency.  The addition of Manganese can actually release Copper helping the plant roots to absorb it. (So, in other words, if we have a Copper deficiency, it might be improved by the application of adequate Manganese.) This is why we have to do the soil tests and then do everything they call for. Since they impact each other, it’s crucial that when a test calls for a half a pint of copper and two pints of manganese, that we do both.
If we listen to Dr. Anderson as he talks out of The Anatomy of Life and Energy and Agriculture, he says that “Copper is the key to elasticity in a plant as well as mold control.” How do we improve standability? Well, anything that hurts plant health decreases standability. Two of the nutrients that would be heavily involved in plant health would be Potassium and Copper. We want a plant that will bend but not break and elasticity is key to that.  If we listen to Neal Kinsey, in Hands On Agronomy, he states how Nitrogen affects Copper. Excessive amounts of N will tie up Copper. Copper is what confers stock strength to the plant. That’s why a field that gets Nitrogen in the proper amount will look very different from one that gets too much N. Combined with that, a lack of copper, and a deficiency of K makes stocks unhealthy. Pay attention to that. There’s a relationship between the over use of N and the availability of getting Copper into that plant. Everything works together.
From the Soil Up, Don Schriefer mentions how we have set the soil level standards for Copper between 2 and 3 parts per million. Soil test levels throughout the Midwest are generally showing less than 2 parts per million. Tissue tests are often reflecting the lower soil values and the trend is the same in the corn and small grains.

Often times in agriculture, we get told a pound is a pound the world around, which quite frankly isn’t true. If a pound is a pound the world around, why would we not just take pennies and sling them in our corn field? Because, it would take years and years for them to break down to even think about getting in a form the corn plant can use.  This is why I’m not a fan of dry copper sulfate…there are six million, two hundred and some thousand square inches in an acre of ground. If we go out and spread four pounds of anything, what are the odds of that corn plant finding it? Slim.  So what the better alternative? Chelated Copper in the seed trench in the proper amount that because your corn plant is going to find it because it’s right where it needs it.

So to wrap things up, If you’re Copper deficient..

  • Photosynthesis and chlorophyll are being slowed
  • You’re more likely to be attacked by bugs, fungus, and bacteria
  • It might be improved by the application of adequate Manganese
  • Your Nitrogen utilization could be negatively impacted
  • Your plant health and standability is being decreased

Copy of Copper

Let’s fix your Copper deficiency in 2019 because it will be a big bang for your buck is. We would be honored to help you do that. Feel free to comment here or text/call 641-919-1206.