From fertilizer application tips to research updates, more ways to help your crops succeed.

August 17, 2016

3 Fertilizer Ideas to Address Nutrient Needs in Corn and Get a Few More Bushels

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Recently I met dozens of innovative corn farmers at the Farm Journal Corn College event in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Every year I look forward to the Corn College events because the attendees are seeking new knowledge, inquisitive and eager to wonder, “How can I improve my ROI?”

Here are three fertilizer strategies that we explored at the 2016 Corn College to help farmers reach a few more bushels of their corn crop’s yield potential.

To learn about the soybean fertilizer ideas we shared at Soybean College, go here.


1 – Add a Starter Fertilizer for Corn to Your Dry Blend.

The benefits of including a starter fertilizer for corn to your program are well known. Coat your granular fertilizer blend with Nu-Trax™ P+, and get the nutrients needed by corn for important early season growth, without the equipment traditionally needed for a starter.

 

corn yeild chart
By providing the early-season growth benefits associated with most starter fertilizers for corn, Nu-Trax P+ increased corn yields by 4% as compared to granular fertilizer alone in replicated studies conducted between 2013 and 2015.

 

Already using a starter fertilizer for your corn crop? Consider adding Nu-Trax P+ to your dry spring broadcast applications for improved early-season growth and yield performance. Roots can access Nu-Trax P+ earlier than fertilizer banded at 2″x 2″. 


2 – Know your Soils. Deliver Zinc Early to Improve Corn Performance.

It’s important to know your soils. Soil test summaries from the International Plant Nutrition Institute suggest zinc nutrient levels are being neglected in many states. Last year more than half of all the soil tests analyzed for Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee showed low zinc levels.

 

 

percent of samples testing less than 1.0 ppm dtpa equivalent zn in 2015

 

Research at the University of Illinois confirms that high-performance corn hybrids remove 27% more zinc than non-rootworm resistant hybrids. Don’t let your corn crop mine your soils or suffer a yield-limiting zinc deficiency. Apply at least a maintenance rate of zinc.

With EvenCoat™ Technology, Wolf Trax Zinc DDP® coats onto dry fertilizer granules. This delivery system provides blanket-like distribution of zinc fertilizer for corn in the field and places zinc closer to plants roots for earlier uptake. Zinc DDP can coat your fall-applied P-K blend or a pre-plant application in the spring.

 

impact of zinc chart
In more than 25 field studies conducted between 2002 and 2015, Wolf Trax Zinc DDP increased corn yields by 4% compared to the control.


3 – Boost Yield Potential. Add a Foliar Boron Application.

A 2013 study conducted by the University of Illinois showed that a foliar application of Wolf Trax Boron DDP at tasseling is a smart investment. Supplemental boron during the corn’s reproductive stage improves kernel fill – key to sustaining high corn yields.

 

boron ddp chart

 

Easily mixed in water, liquid fertilizer systems or crop protection products, Wolf Trax Boron DDP delivers just the right amount of boron to give corn that last yield bump.

What fertilizer strategies have helped protect your corn yield? What could you adjust in your fertilizer plan to provide balanced nutrition without increasing your total fertilizer costs? Tweet us your questions at @WolfTraxInc or comment on this blog.

Corn College Winner

Congratulations to our Corn College drawing winner, Jordan Redalen of Fountain City, Minnesota! When he stopped to talk with us about fertilizer strategies, he entered to win a new DJI Phantom 3 drone. Now he can check his fields for in-season insect damage, uniformity, visual nutrient deficiency symptoms and more. It was nice to meet you, Jordan!

 

drone image

 

Author: Paul Reising, senior product manager of micronutrients for Compass Minerals