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Could This be a Game Changer for Phosphorus?

At great cost, phosphorus is laboriously mined and processed so it can be used by the agriculture industry. Some 27.6 million metric tons were removed from the earth in 2015. But an agtech UW-Madison spinoff has discovered another innovative way to collect this valuable mineral.

The group, Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling LLC, invented a process that can extract phosphorus from wastewater treatment plants and form a calcium phosphate mineral brushite that can be sold as dry fertilizer.

Zinc Fertilizer Sees Slow, Steady Growth

Injecting an industrial metal back into the ground could prove a boon for farmers and miners alike.

The metal is zinc. Used mostly to reduce corrosion in iron and steel, zinc also is needed in trace amounts to keep humans and plants healthy. Without it in their diets, people are prone to diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, and crops are stunted. The trouble is that farmland in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America is increasingly zinc deficient, leading to more than 450,000 deaths annually of children under age five, a 2008 study in The Lancet showed.

Does Your Field Need Starter Fertilizer?

Make sure you have the right conditions before pulling the trigger on starter fertilizer. While it can provide positive ROI, it’s not always guaranteed. Learn what conditions are most likely to pay off.

“Starter fertilizer results in better root systems early,” says Todd Carpenter, Verdesian Life Sciences technical development manager in a recent news release. “Better root systems mean that the plant will use water and nutrients more efficiently, allowing it to grow more rapidly and put more of those resources into grain.”

Margin Minute: Cut These Farm Costs First

Several line items in your budget deserve attention as you seek to control costs this growing season, says Chris Barron of Ag View Solutions.

Keep in mind those with fewer overhead costs and better cost management have a huge competitive advantage, Barron says in a recent “Margin Minute” video for

Here are the categories to watch, according to Barron:

5 Tips To Sharpen Your Phosphorus Management Practices

Phosphorus (P) is an important macronutrient for field corn. Adequate amounts of the nutrient are associated with improved corn root development, increased stalk strength, resistance to disease, kernel (seed) production and earlier crop maturity. In some scenarios, the right amount of P can boost corn yields by up to 40 bu. per acre.

How You'll Manage Nitrogen

New knowledge and tools enable highly efficient just-in-time nutrient planning

The need to protect water supplies while feeding a burgeoning world population will spur farmers to become the best nitrogen stewards ever. It won’t be easy, says Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie, and it will take time. But he predicts farmers will meet this challenge, just as they have responded to every other call to feed more people while optimizing nutrient use.

What's the Yield Return on Foliar Fertilizer?

Questions about crop response and yield increase

As producers battle consistently anemic commodity prices, any avenue to push yields is all the more alluring. While macronutrients and tissue testing are gospel in many parts of agriculture, Nathan Slaton, a soil scientist with University of Arkansas (UA) Extension, says mid- to late-season foliar feeding is unwarranted in most cases.

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