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Managing fertilizer workshop next Tuesday

Record prices in commodity markets are being matched with record fertilizer prices simultaneously.

Some farmers are calling the input costs shocking. Some fertilizer dealers are equally shocked. Adding to the shock of price is the anxiety of fertilizer supply for the 2008 growing season.

Fertilizer costs impact all farmers, not just cash grain growers. Dairy and livestock growers are feeling the crunch because alfalfa and other forages are going to be grown on equally high-priced fertilizer ingredients such as phosphorus and potash, and even the microelements needed for well grown quality forages.

Dr. Carrie Laboski, UW-Extension Soil Specialist, and John Peters, UW-Marshfield Soils Lab Director will be in Ellsworth (via conference call) to present information aimed at managing fertilizer in this record high fertilizer environment. Laboski will demonstrate ways to calculate your most effective investment in fertilizer this season. The Nitrogen Cost Calculator and Return to Nitrogen software is a method to evaluate your most profitable rate.

John Peters, UW Soils Lab Director, will reveal differences between tillage systems and how fertilizer recommendations can be evaluated. Research by UW has discovered vital soil sampling techniques and tillage system differences that impact investment choices in a high-cost fertilizer environment. Peters will also review the importance of monitoring and fertilizing with microelements in the 2008 growing season, especially on forages such as alfalfa.

A special research discussion on allocating limited phosphorus and potassium fertilizer will be reviewed by Laboski. A panel of local fertilizer suppliers may be available at the workshop to discuss supply outlook for the upcoming spring.

The Managing Fertilizer Workshop will be held next Tuesday at the Pierce County Office Building Meeting Room from 1 to 3 p.m. Farmers may pre-register by calling 273-6781. The workshop registration is $5 payable at the door.

For more information, contact Greg Andrews at 273-6781.