Purdue University | Indiana CCA

Proceedings 2009

Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Conference

Fertilizer Recommendations: Build and Maintain vs. Nutrient Sufficiency Approaches

n 2003, K-State began to offer farmers the option of using either the Build and Maintain, or the Nutrient Sufficiency system for making fertilizer recommendations. Our logic was simply that both offered legitimate advantages and disadvantages to farmers, and only they would be in position to know which system might fit their particular farm situation best. Today about 80% of the farmers requesting recommendations from the K-State Soil Testing Lab use the traditional Great Plains style Nutrient Sufficiency recommendations. But 20% have shifted to the Build and Maintain System. This presentation will compare and contrast these two systems and some of their derivatives such as the Cation Saturation System. We’ll discuss where each system was developed, and some of the underlying conditions which might have influenced the development and adoption of the system in that region. We’ll also discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of each system, where each system may be best suited, and some of the limitations of each system and how following a particular system might create some freedoms or limits on management flexibility.

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Shawn ConleyDr. Dave Mengel Professor of Agronomy/Soil Fertility
Kansas State University

Dave Mengel is Professor of Agronomy/Soil Fertility in the Department of Agronomy, at Kansas State University. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees at Purdue University, and his Ph.D. at N.C. State. He worked in soil fertility research and extension positions at LSU and Purdue prior to going to K-State. He also served as the Head of the Agronomy department at KSU from 1998 through 2005. His extension, and research programs have focused on finding simple, economical methods to enhance the efficiency of fertilizer use; the interaction of tillage, residue cover and fertilization practices; and developing efficient and environmentally sound fertilizer recommendations. He is an active member of the American society of Agronomy and served as the organizing chair for Division A-9, Professional Practitioners, professional home for the CCA program. Dave is a Fellow of ASA and SSSA