Wheat apparently ran out of nitrogen in many parts of North Dakota this year and there concern in South Dakota that it's happening in corn, too.
Dave Franzen, NDSU soils specialist, issued a long report last week explaining why there are many report of "abysmal protein levels" in wheat in North Dakota this year.
"Normally protein falls in the 13-15% range. This year, early protein reports are 9-14%.," he says.
He speculates that flooding, heavy early season rainfall, poor urea incorporation and exceptional good weather for producing high yields was the culprit in the east.
In the west, there may have been excessive volatization of urea applied in no-till fields.
Many South Dakota corn growers and crop advisers are reporting late-season nitrogen deficiency in their fields, and potential yield losses are a concern, says Ron Gelderman, SDSU plant science professor.
He says farmers may not have put on enough N because it was expensive this spring.
Also, the weather in South Dakota has been excellent for corn.
"Many growers report having the best crop potential they remember at this time in the season, and the extra plant growth simply requires more nitrogen," Gelderman says.
Sources: NDSU Extension Communications and SDSU AgBio Communications