I understand what you are saying, and don't want to get in an argument, but if you haul a crop away, you need to put the nutrients back into your soil somehow.
Can do it with manures or plowdowns or other such as Animal and others do; or you can do it with the tons of granules, or you can let your ground slowly slide backwards until you got nothing left and will cost a lot more to build it back up.....
I just wrote a check in December for them to put $145 to $199 an acre's worth of variable rate fertilizer - that includes N. I'll still be putting on 100 lbs of starter with the micros in it with the planter.
This should cover next year's soybean crop as well, so it is a build program.
But, dad let this farm run down, didn't keep the soil up, so here I am still paying for that, takes years to get back to where you need to be. Does not look good to get those maps back, and see so many red and orange colors on your fields....
Sure can see the difference in the crop where things are coming around again, and back into the yellow colors at least.
You think a person can't afford the fertilizer; I can't afford the red colors on the soil maps, that show - and I can see looking in the combine bin - how much yield I'm losing without the fertilizer.
But you are right, it is not cheap, and a person needs to plan and work on it, not go stupid.
Wish I could find some manure, my few cattle are grazing cornstalks and direct-depositing, I don't get much to spread, and the neighbor's hog barns are being spread on my dairy neighbor's fields because he had the same problem I did, his dairy manure doesn't get his soils built back good enough.
It's always a work in progress. :)