Topics: Grower Profile
Name: Robert Napier - Nebraska Farmer
Location: Ewing, Nebraska
Years farming: 30
Number of Acres: 2,000
Crops: Corn and soybeans
Even after 30 years of growing corn and soybeans near Ewing, Neb., Robert Napier admits his nutrient management process is not defined and routine. Napier will be the first to explain nutrient management practices are always changing and improving; after three decades of production, he continues to adopt modern methods and try new products.
The right mix.
In 2008 Napier used 200 pounds of nitrogen, 40 pounds of phosphorus, 50 pounds of potassium and 40 pounds of sulfur per acre. Always trying to find the perfect combination, he used a variety of applications:
- 75 lbs of K/A (75# 0-0-60)
- AVAIL® and NutriSphere-N® applied with starter, 275 pounds of NPK-S and .25 pounds of zinc per acre (275# 15-15-3-6-.25)
- Top dress of liquid nitrogen applied with NutriSphere-N and sulfur (28-0-0-5) at 220 pounds per acre.
- Nitrogen and sulfur (28-0-0-5) applied through an irrigation pivot
On acreage treated with AVAIL and NutriSphere-N, Napier experienced notable yield improvements: a 9-to-12 bushel-per-acre increase.
"I was hesitant, but the dealer at Orchard Fertilizer Service, Brinkley Williams, convinced me to try AVAIL and NutriSphere-N. I was glad he did once I saw the results," says Napier.
In addition to AVAIL and NutriSphere-N, Napier has been impressed with the results of KTS® (potassium thiosulfate solution) as a potash source in starter fertilizer.
Due to sandy soils, he does not practice fall fertilization, but he is a no-till pioneer. Napier has grown no-till soybeans for 20 years. He also values soil testing results when developing the year's nutrient management plan and encourages fellow growers to do the same.
"Your soil can change from year to year and from plot to plot," Napier says. "We can't predict too many things throughout the growing season, but we can plan around soil testing results."
Knowledge grows each year.
Even a producer with as much experience as Napier continues to learn year to year. Three decades of farming has taught him to keep an open mind about new technology and to learn from the land.
"Mother Nature is the one thing we can't control and it effects us the most," Napier adds. "We just try to respect her and work with her."
Click here to learn what other growers have experienced with AVAIL and NutriSphere-N.
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