Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Farmers Move Away from Fall-Applied Anhydrous

Farmers’ shift away from fall application of nitrogen for crops such as corn and sorghum is being reflected in changing retail practices, says Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie. “In my area of central Illinois, I know two fertilizer plants that have completely dropped anhydrous ammonia,” he says. “Their sales had shifted to spring application of nitrogen solution. While ammonia can be applied in the spring, farmers found it took up too much of their time when they needed to concentrate on planting, compared to nitrogen solution that can be applied as they plant or with herbicides.”
Traditionally, farmers have applied nitrogen in the fall because they feared they could not get over all their acres in the spring, especially if rainy weather set in. But that, like the climate that now keeps soil warm later into the fall, has changed, Ferrie says.
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