At this time of year it looks like most farmers in Southern Alberta are using a dry fertilizer. Blackie farmer, Ray Newman says " As in a blend urea and a phosphate blend, it's dry, and it's a bulkier product than a gaseous fertilizer like an ammonia.  Some people prefer nitrogen and ammonia to dry just because of the bulk," he says.  "You'll get a truck delivering the gas and it's a higher concentration of nitrogen, so you can go further with a tank full than you can with a dry, so that's what most people are using."

Newman says you never know what your year is going to be until you see enough rain.  "You always target for the higher end of your yield than an average yield," he explains. "A dry fertilizer may not use up as much moisture in the soil as an ammonia, because an ammonia has to grab onto water, so it dries the soil out a little bit. It's all your preference."  

Most people are seeding and fertilizing at the same time.  "So the fertilizer goes an inch or two away from your seedling,  then you put the fertilizer all on one pass, alot of people are doing it all on one pass now, I'd say 80% of people do it that way."

Newman says farmers are using more fertilizer then they have in the past.  "Technology has shown us the more fertilizer we use, the more crops we get," he says.  "You're conserving moisture with your one pass, so the use of herbicides restricts the competition for the fertilizer. There are better fertilizer blends too, where we know what we're targeting with our soil fasting now, so you're not just randomly spreading fertilizer anymore, it's more scientific." But overall he believes farmers are getting more utilization out of their fertilizer then they have in the past.