Manage N from the Start

Apr 25, 2023

Manage N to ensure a healthy start for corn plants.
Nitrogen (N) is the most important nutrient to concentrate on because it provides the highest return on investment (ROI) in corn production. “Try to make sure there’s N pre-emerge, and then side dress the rest of the N,” said Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager.
Split applying gets N, first of all, in the root zone so it’s readily available to the seed and young corn plant. Apply at 40-50 lbs./ac. pre-plant or at planting, which should be enough to get you to your side dress application.
“You never want corn to have a bad day early in its life cycle,” Carlson said. “Let it live in luxury with plenty of N early on; don’t stress it.” At roughly V6, the corn cob is sensing its development and will set up how many kernel rows will develop. A bad day early in the growth cycle will affect yields.
“Split applying also protects N from denitrification, leaching, and volatilization,” Carlson said.
“SuperU™ is the easy button with urea,” Carlson said, with its two active ingredients (DCD for below ground protection, and NBPT for controlling volatilization above ground). Or, “we can put Factor® Plus on regular white urea to protect against volatilization,” he said.
Protecting your ROI on nitrogen is important, and “the additional N protection chemistries, such as SuperU and Factor Plus, usually pay off quite well,” Carlson said. “It’s one of the best investments, best use of time, and best crop management today.”
“We have to be stewards of our own industry,” he added, and using best practices, such as investing in N protection, is one way to do that. Talk to your Federated Agronomist with any questions about N management early in the season.

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