2/12/18: Fertilize for Better Hay this Spring

Our overall dry conditions seem to not be going away and I have been hearing from some of my customers that hay stockpiles are going to be running low by grass time this spring. Obviously we cannot do anything about the lack of rain rain, but we can set ourselves up for having higher yielding and higher quality hay crops when this dry spell backs off.

Whether it is a grass hay field or an alfalfa field hay crops require adequate fertilization to provide high yield and to keep stands healthy and growing back every season. While grass hay requires nitrogen to produce big yields it also like alfalfa is a big user of P and K. In drier times applying P and K can be a better option as it will lay on the soil surface and wait for a rain where as urea will volatilize and will likely be gone ten days after application if applied and no rain is there to incorporate it. This makes the decisions for fertilizing hay more of a game time decision than a planned approach but will usually yield better results if rain is spotty or there is a low chance in the next 7 days.

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