Battling an Unhealthy 44% Increase in Fertilization Costs, No-Tillers are Seeking Ways to Trim Critical Nutrient Expenses Without Sacrificing Yields and Returns

Sky-high fertilizer prices are certainly having a serious economic impact on how no-tillers will be fertilizing this year’s corn and soybean crops

Major fertility changes are coming, according to data from our 14th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study that analyzed extensive data from 480 U.S. no-tillers. Here are a few of the changes growers expect to make this year to control increasing fertilizer costs with no-tilled corn and soybeans:

  • Overall farm fertilizer expenditures are soaring by $38,388 compared with 2021 nutrient costs.
  • No-tillers expect total per acre costs on their farms to increase to $435.77 in 2022, up from $413.43 in 2021 and $394.46 in 2020.
  • Across all acres, no-tillers expect fertilizer costs to increase to $84.52 per acre in 2022, up from $60.30 in 2221.
  • Higher nitrogen (N) rates will be dialed back significantly with no-tilled corn. 
  • More than twice as many growers in 2022 will avoid fertilizing no-tilled soybeans as in 2021.
  • Urea as an N source for no-tilled corn will continue to grow while anhydrous ammonia usage continues to slip due to higher prices and safety concerns.
  • Spring pre-plant applications of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) with no-tilled corn are taking a considerable drop.
  • The application of most micronutrients and macronutrients other than N, P and K continue to be strong with no-tilled corn.
  • Growers expect to increase late-season foliar N applications for corn.
  • The use of products to increase soil biological activity is taking a big jump this…
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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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