The province's soil fertility specialist is hoping the mix of weather we've had this spring will be beneficial for fertilizer that was applied last fall.

John Heard says the colder temperatures were ideal for keeping nitrogen in the ammonium form, which is more resistant to loss.

"That is our fall nitrogen strategy," he explained. "If we can apply it late in the fall under cool soil conditions, that nitrogen remains intact in the ammonium form and really doesn't convert to nitrate. Nitrate is the form that we worry about losing and that really only occurs once soils warm up and if they stay wet or saturated."

Because of this, Heard is hoping that the efficiency of the fall applied nitrogen will be similar to that applied this spring.

The province has lifted its ban on applying phosphorus and nitrogen, although Heard says just because it's legal doesn't mean its the right decision. Farmers still need to consider soil conditions before making their decision.

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