Fall can be a good time to apply dry phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilizers because of lower workloads and drier soils. A fall dry fertilizer application can also increase P and K availability for crops planted in the spring by giving the fertilizer prill more time to undergo natural weathering and breakdown in the soil compared to spring applications.
However, just because you apply 300 pounds of P and K this fall, it doesn’t mean that all 300 pounds will be available to next season's crop. Soil physical, chemical and biological properties combined with weather conditions all play a role in fertilizer availability. Even under the best conditions, an application of dry fertilizer on its own is usually not very efficient. In the first season after application, only about 10-30% of applied P and 20-60% of applied K is typically available for use by the growing crop.
For a higher rate of fertilizer efficiency, Titan XC can be applied to dry fertilizer blends, increasing the efficiency of applied P and K fertilizers by an estimated 30%. This contributes to a number of benefits, including improved plant performance (as seen in the photos below from Dassel, Minnesota), as well as a positive yield response.
In the corn trial below from Ohio, a fall application of Titan XC-treated dry fertilizer led to an average yield increase of +8.3 bushels per acre over 6 replications as compared to untreated dry fertilizer.
In a corn trial from Nutrien Ag Solutions’ Hopkinsville, Kentucky research farm, treating dry fertilizer with Titan XC led to a yield increase of 6 bushels or more per acre compared to untreated fertilizer. This was true whether the fertilizer was applied at the full rate (300 lbs/acres) or the reduced rate (270 lbs/acre). What is most notable here is that there was no real difference in corn yield between the two different rates of untreated fertilizer (270 or 300 lbs/acre).
Sometimes the answer is not more fertilizer, but rather greater efficiency. By employing Titan XC to increase the breakdown or mineralization of the P and K nutrients spread in fall, more will be available to the crop next year when it needs it, which can lead to better yield results.
Learn more about Titan XC by downloading the Titan XC fall fertilizer booklet.