Introducing our Expert of the Month, Matt Maess

Over the last few weeks, we asked our AGvisorPRO Experts to help us with some questions sent in by farmers. We threw two specific and challenging questions at these experts related to nutrient management, and Matt Maess had something to say about both.

“At the end of the day I see myself as a boots on the ground type of guy, I’ve got experience and I have learned from some really smart guys like Elston Solberg, Dan Aberhart and Terry Aberhart(Editor’s Note: these three are also available on AGvisorPRO!)

– Matt Maess

Check out the questions below for a great real-life example of what Matt can help you with. You can connect with Matt for free anytime over AGvisorPRO! A second opinion is always a good call when planning next year’s input strategy.

Question 1

Considering moving over to using elemental sulfur in our one pass all granular seeding system, tired of regular granular sulfur plugging up our drill anytime it gets a little bit humid when we are seeding canola and putting down 20lbs actual down.

I read that putting down S15 for instance could take years to get going in our system since banded elemental takes forever to become plant usable? 

I was thinking if it takes so long, maybe keep mostly regular sulfur in the canola for another year (maybe a bit of S15). But in this year’s wheat put lots of S15 down. Will it be hopefully usable in the following year for canola? Or, should I spread a bunch of S15 down ahead of the wheat this year to get it going for the canola the following year? And also spread the potash while we’re at it? Lastly, I could also spread S15 ahead of canola the same year – is this better?

What do you think? Don’t want to short canola.”

Matt’s Answer:

S15 is actually 50% elemental sulfur and 50% AMS. You would be able to make the transition nicely with this type of a product.  Keep in mind that S15 will likely cost you more than your current program but will cause less issues with plugging on the drill. Less plugging issues could easily compensate for the difference in price, maybe even more so. Hope this helps.

Question 2

Question 2:Our current seeding system is one pass, side banding 28-0-0, 1” away from the seed. We are applying our granular Phos with seed. We are in black soil zone with some sandier soil for a few quarters.

Question 1: What would be max pounds of N we could apply and keep seed safe for CWRS and canola?

Second question: We currently use VR. Our wheat yields have progressively increased as our nitrogen pounds applied increases, but seem to be having trouble getting our protein to average above 13.0%. Using Viewfield variety. Have had suggestions of top dressing or using Esn. Current fert rates are between 95-105/acre with 30-40 of phos. Usually using S15. If a person top dresses, do you cut back your original application at seeding so you still have a total of 95-100 pounds of N or does a person increase total N?” 

Matt’s Answer:

Both parts of this question have the same answer (kind of).

Part A – It would depend on your yield targets as to how much N you should provide in the side band. If you are conservative on your yield goals then all the N could go in the side band. If you get aggressive on your yield goals, you may want to consider split applying N as too much N in a band can be prone to “hot” bands and also some possible losses before the roots can use it all.

Part B – If you are using all your 105 lbs of N for yield then you may want to consider top dressing at the right time to address protein. For example,

70 bus HRSW needs 182 lbs of N. 2.6 lbs per bushel grown. If your soil has the balance and you get enough rainfall in the first part of the growing season, all your N goes to yield and have nothing available for protein. If you are drier and less rain, then the water driven yield potential is less and then you will have N available for later in the season for protein.

So, if you have adequate rainfall in the first part of the season, you may want to consider applying more N for protein. This goes to Part A now as if you move to a split application on your N anyways, you can apply the later application around flag timing and influence yield and protein. If you decide to apply all your yield N up front, then an application of N around post flowering should influence protein. NDSU has some great research on this. Influencing yield and protein is a big balancing act and can also depend on other soil factors and tissue levels. Too much to dive into on this answer but can be a moving target depending on the year. Remember at the end of the day, water drives everything.

Questions like this are just a sampling of the kind of things you can ask our experts at AGvisorPRO. A second, or third opinion is always a good choice when you are dealing with input decisions. Jump on the app to connect to one of our experts to solve your problem today!