Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I saw something interesting today in the wheat field.

The wheat has grown by now to a height of about 8 inches, and the whole field is green. But within this sea of green, two narrow strips of darker emerald span the entire length of the field.

Farmer Jeremy was there with me, and he explained what had happened:

The entire field was sprayed some time ago with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. During the process of doing laps back and forth across the field in a tractor, however, it worked out that two strips ended up getting a double dose of nitrogen. The result was these two extra-green lanes of wheat that appear unmistakably healthier than the rest of the crop.

If you've been reading the blog these past several weeks, you know I've written several times about the benefits and drawbacks of nitrogen fertilizer. But this is my first real look at the power of the stuff. My first-glace conclusion: Yeah, it works, and apparently doubling the amount you use works even better.