Nutrient Management Strategies
Components of Integrated Crop Management for Field Crops
Quantify nutrient source - soil reserve, manure, crop residue.
Soil test - pH, lime requirement, phosphorous, potassium
(calcium and magnesium optional).
Manure analysis - nitrogen (ammonium N, total N), phosphorus, potassium.
Calibration manure and fertilizer spreaders - tons, 1000's gallons, lbs. per acre.
Fertilization plan - manure application rate, supplemental fertilizer.
- utilize excess manure on alternative crops (hay crops).
- avoid applying large amounts of manure on fields with excessive P soil tests
- do not over apply nitrogen from manure or fertilizer.
Nitrogen soil test - side- or top-dressing supplemental nitrogen fertilizer.
Cover crop - to reduce soil loss and nitrate leaching; optimal cover when planted by
September 15, little value after September 30.
- consider a legume based cover crop on vegetable farms and on distant
fields on dairy farms where manure is not spread.
Planting plan - to ensure early harvest of corn to allow early cover crop planting on
most erosion prone fields.
Minimum tillage - to reduce nutrient loss through soil erosion.
Stephen J. Herbert
Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Crops, Dairy, Livestock News. Vol. 3:2, Winter 1998-99