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Farmers dealing with spring nitrogen shortages

Extreme winter conditions slowed river barge deliveries and rail shipments of nitrogen this spring.

While most South Dakota producers will have their nitrogen needs met this spring, some may have to consider other application management options due to nitrogen shortages, according to Anthony Bly, South Dakota State University Extension soils field specialist.

"It is extremely hard to tell where shortages might occur until strong consumption applies stress on supply," Bly said. "If shortages occur in your area, don't despair as there are other options."

Bly says corn and wheat don't require large amounts of nitrogen early in the growing season because uptake is related to plant dry matter accumulation and grain development.

Getting nitrogen to the plant in the form required and when the plant needs it, is not only good for plant health, Bly said, it's also good for the environment by reducing the chances it gets into water systems.