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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,
next year im taking over my olds mans farm, he has been on direct till (wide shears) for a few years. I just bought a flexi coil seeder set up for minimum no till seeding. it has taken me two years to get the rotations right, and also chem right, change of mode of action double knock and spray behind windrowers also biological control measures (windrow burning) were in 375mm rainfall with frost sharp finishes. we have limestone country with mallee sandloams, heavy clay and whitecourse sand. growing canola wheat barley trit rye.
been going down the path of 70kg 19;0;13;10 starter fert with humic prill (as of this year) with 70kg 23:0:0:12 top up, with zinc 6% mang 8% copper2% sulfer 8.6% in spray (liquid next year). my biggest problem is almost everyone in my district is minimal imputs/ conventional tillage or livstock and think putting large amounts of fert down makes bird seed. ive got our yeids up 44% in the two years brix up from 5 to 16 although the last 5 years have been above av rainfall. any hints tips would be appreciated on the no till side of things. would also like to put cover crops on over summer
 

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Sounds to be a similar situation I am in in North Central Montana. My 4th crop now. Before I started farming this ground it had never been fertilized. A few people around me tried a little bit and quit in 1 year. A few fertilized enough they seen a difference and stuck with it and seeing an obvious difference now. My county average is 21 bushels/acre. I have never been that low and keep going up every year. This year probably won't beat last. Have only gotten 2.5" on most of my crop since seeding. Still looks good considering. I say I will fertilize until I can't afford to. I see it as my savings in the ground. When the dry years hit, hopefully I will be 1 step ahead in nutrients and conserving moisture. I don't get to crazy with fertilizing and fall for all the snake oils. Nitrogen and phos., that is about it. All put down during seeding. I still only fertilize for 35bu/acre yields with wheat. Soil sample all my fields. Average when I started was 21bu/acre. I have almost doubled the gross profit of this farm from previous farmers. Also greatly increase expenses. I have to prove to myself and my banker this is paying off before I push it further. I am in dry land drought country. Go to crazy trying to improve things could make me go broke.
That is my experience and ideas on starting a fertilizer program.
Another thing, K.I.S.S, keep it simple stupid! Do to much and you will never know what is paying off and what isn't. Easy to get all confused in the data and not know what is really happening with what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Think your onto something keeping it simple. Sounds like your in a drought prone area like I am. Def having a data overload atm. lol. How is your year looking? Been hearing parts over your way are a bit dry. At this stage were looking like a bumper year but sept oct will bring that down pretty quick,
 

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My dad only used to put down 30-40 lbs/ac of fertilizer (28-26) on summerfallow. Now I'm putting down 200 lbs down of N-P-K-S. we need more bins every year and he likes cashing the grain cheques. We have a lot more $ in machinery too. We are usually dry too. We haven't had a bad year since 2003, (July was 30+everyday that year). A guy never stops learning. I've never put much stock in a soil test, when I did them they said absolutely everything was deficient, except K. I look more at nutrient removal rates now and economic returns. To fix my soil I need to grow a good crop every year. There are a lot of years a need to make up for.
 

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375mm avg rainfall is hardly drought country far from it actually. What yields do you actually achieve? What's your water use efficiency? Do you soil test? Lime for ph?
I would be careful on this humic pril not that I know much about it but it's expensive. Have you done trial strips without it but raising convential fertiliser rates to see the difference.
Am I right in reading you come back and spread "P" out after the crop is emerged?
Bit hard to give advice without knowing a bit more information?
 
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