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Fulton County Farmer Praises No-till
Les Seiler and his brother Jerry farm 1,500-1,600 acres in Fulton County near the Village of Fayette... >>
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Spring Planting Held up by Rain ...read more about Brendyn George and his 2,000 acre farm >> here

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June at the Brendyn George farms in Wood County

One in a series of articles looking at the business of agriculture in northwest Ohio.

Making decisions about fertilizing after a wet, late, planting season.

After a very wet spring delayed planting for a nearly a month, things have been going well on the land that Brendyn George farms with his brother and their partner. Plants are established and it’s time for side dressing with nutrients that his soil tests tell him his plants need.

Because of the rain in April and May, spring seed was planted without any extra nutrients. George is careful not to apply phosphorus or nitrogen when it could get washed off his fields in into waterways or run off as his fields manage stormwater. Now in June, the fields have dried up so that that weight of the tractor and spreader will not unduly compact the soil and he is taking advantage of the weather to incorporate some fertilizer in his corn fields.

He’s incorporating liquid nitrogen called 28 percent. The product drips into the area between the rows of crops. He has other options for fertilizer this time of year including anhydrous ammonia. Anhydrous is a gas and has to be stored at the elevator. It’s also a dangerous product that can explode. It’s a little cheaper and much safer to use liquid 28 nitrogen. George buys the nitrogen at off season and stores it on his property. To store it safely he built a dike that will hold any leaks in his tanks. Those dikes are inspected occasionally by the EPA which checks to see that they are deep enough to hold a complete rupture.

Before adding fertilizer, George dropped the water control boards to hold water in his fields. Holding the water back will also keep fertilizer from running off and give the roots more time to drink it up.

“I did some figuring the other day, and actually, our gates are closed three-quarters of the year. If you look at it that way, I’ve cut (the days when fertilizer can drain off) by 75 percent. A pretty simple little project.”
-Brendyn George

George has been considering his options if regulations are enacted to reduce the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen he can use on his fields. He is certain now that he is using the right amount, in the right place, right time, and right type. “We put on what we need and no more,” he said. “It’s so costly. If we have to cut rates back, it’s just going to hurt our yield, which is going to hurt everybody all the way around. Price of grain will go up.”


Side dressing the small corn plants.

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