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Given the current squeeze on profitability, some farmers will be tempted to reduce rates for applied phosphorus (P) this year. The decision to cut fertilizer rates in the interest of saving on production costs doesn’t come easy, but reducing the amount of applied P without sacrificing yield just might be more feasible than once thought.

“Prices are important to farmers right now, and they will continue to be price sensitive throughout 2016 as we make our fertilizer recommendations,” says Scott Coon, executive vice president of agronomy for West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa. “We are focused on feeding the plant and not the soil – making sure the plant is getting the nutrients it needs at the time it needs them.”

Coon recommends that farmers consider using AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer with their applied P to increase availability and plant uptake of that essential nutrient. “When we use a product like AVAIL, we can possibly lower the farmer’s nutrient bill by making a recommendation for lower rates of phosphorus,” the agronomist says. “We will be having that conversation with our customers – having AVAIL in the mix allows us to make a confident recommendation for possibly lowering phosphorus rates and saving them some money.”

Research at the University of Illinois, University of Minnesota and Kansas State University has documented that the combination of AVAIL with dry P fertilizer can help maintain strong corn yields even when P rates are reduced.

“These university research trials demonstrated some compelling evidence that AVAIL provided real yield benefits across a range of phosphorus application rates,” says Ryan Bond, Ph.D., vice president of marketing for Verdesian Life Sciences. “And, similar trials across other crops besides corn, such as soybeans, wheat and alfalfa, have shown the same advantages.”

Important: Always read and follow label use directions.

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