Is Fall-Applied Nitrogen Still Present?04/11/2016
The pattern of warmer and wetter than usual weather this past winter has changed some in the past two months, but hopes for a warm, dry, early spring have faded as well. Concerns remain about how much fall-applied N might have been lost and about whether and how this should change how we manage N this spring.
Most Illinois producers waited until soil temperatures had dropped to 50 degrees or less before applying anhydrous ammonia last fall. Soil temperatures dropped a little slower than normal during November, though, and in a mid-December warm period, soil temperatures approached or exceeded 50 degrees for a few days in much of central and northern Illinois. December rainfall was well above normal, with about 4 inches falling over most of the state right after Christmas. January brought lower temperatures, but tile lines continued to run much of the winter, and above-normal temperatures returned in February and March.