Fertilizer Index - Pounds Needed to Balance
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Another unique feature of the TSM® recommendations is the "Fertilizer Index - Pounds Needed to Balance". This feature is an index of how close your Phosphorus(P) and Potassium(K) levels are to being balanced. This "Fertilizer Index" allows the grower to compare at a glance where the fertility levels stand for each soil sample. Here is how the "Fertilizer Index" pounds needed to balance is figured:
Set an ideal level for the Phosphorus(P) and Potassium(K).
Take a soil test to determine where your P and K levels are.
Subtract the actual level of P and K from the ideal level.
The total of the difference of the P and K values equals
pounds needed to balance
A negative "Fertilizer Index" would indicate a deficiency of either Phosphorus and/or Potassium. A positive "Fertilizer Index" would indicate an excess of one or both P and K. If your "Fertilizer Index" number should happen to be "0" it would mean you have an ideal level of both P and/or K.
There are four basic benefits of using the "Fertilizer Index" pounds needed to balance in recommendations:
The fertilizer is put where needed most.
It allows maximum return on your investment.
Potential yields can be determined.
The proper objective can be determined on each field.
Each of these benefits is discussed below.
You can determine "where the fertilizer is needed most". For those fields with a greater deficiency of nutrients, apply more fertilizer. For a field with a slight deficiency, reduce the amount of fertilizer applied. TSM® has been participating in the practice of variable rate application (VRA) by making individualized recommendations on each soil sample. See chart below:
A "fertilizer index" of 500+ indicates "excess fertility" found many times on farms with lots of manure to get rid of. NO FERTILIZER NEEDED!
A "fertilizer index" of 100+ or 100- is fairly "balanced". MAINTENANCE FERTILIZER ONLY!
A "fertilizer index" of 500- is a "run down" field needing lots of fertilizer. BUILD-UP & MAINTENANCE FERTILIZER NEEDED & LOTS OF IT!
Using the "Fertilizer Index" pounds needed to balance we can help the grower get a maximum return on investment. This can happen not only for the reason just discussed, but also because a greater return is gained per dollar on fields needing the most fertilizer as compared to fields needing less. If a budget must be followed, TSM® can tell you how to spend your fertilizer dollars in the most efficient way. See chart below:
On which one of these fields would you expect to receive the highest return on your investment in fertilizer?
The answer is, the field with a "fertilizer index" of 500-.
This field is being held back by a lack of soil fertility. The grower may consider this field his worst field and has been letting it go with small amount of fertilizer.
You will receive more return per dollar spent by applying fertilizer to this field!
However, if you apply the wrong fertilizer, you could make it even worse!
Maximum potential yields can be determined. For example, if you have 2 fields which normally yield the same even though one of the fields has a much greater pounds-to-balance deficiency, you can know that this field has the potential to yield more if the deficiency is corrected. See chart below:
Where would you suggest putting the fertilizer to get highest increase in yield?
The answer is, the field with the "fertilizer index" of 500-.
TSM® can help you determine the proper objective for each field using this "Fertilizer Index". The first objective would be to lower costs.
A grower doing a good job of farming, soil testing every year or every other year, applying what the recommendation is calling for, will not be able to lower cost very much. The second objective may be to increase yield. Those fields with low fertility would fall into this category. The third objective would be to
do both across the entire farm. Again, this is a way to give each grower a maximum return on investment. See chart below:
If you could have your choice of any one of these fields to be your own,
which one would you choose?
Field 500+ has 500 pounds of phosphorus (P) and/or potassium (K) "too much" or excess.
Field 100+ has 100 pounds of phosphorus (P) and/or potassium (K) "too much" or excess.
Field 100- has 100 pounds of phosphorus (P) and/or potassium (K) "not enough" or deficient.
Field 500- has 500 pounds of phosphorus (P) and/or potassium (K) "not enough" or deficient.
I suggest that most of you would have chosen one of the top two fields on the list. Either the 500+ or the 100+ because you have excess nutrients or what you might think of as nutrients "in storage".
Few, if any, would have chosen a field with a negative number of deficient because tese fields lack nutrients or are deficient.
Personally, I will choose "field 100-".
This field's fertilizer index indicates that the field is 100 pounds short of either phosphorus (P) or potassium (K) or both.
It is much easier and quicker to add nutrients than to remove nutrients!
The only place you can get the "FERTILIZER INDEX"
is TSM Servcies, Inc!!!