Continued worldwide demand for fertilizer could result in limited supplies for the 2005 growing season, according to Bob Hoeft, soil fertility specialist with the University of Illinois.

“With potentially short supplies, it's important for producers to make the best use of available fertilizer to ensure maximum production,” Hoeft says. “Growers who haven't had a recent soil test should consider having a sample from each 21½2 acres of their fields analyzed for pH, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).”

He suggests applying lime, which will not be in short supply, to any field with less than 6.0 soil pH. Growers should also consider adding P and K to low-testing fields first.

Hoeft notes that nitrogen likely won't be in short supply. However, prices could be higher than normal.