Eric Scherder, Ph.D
Improving nitrogen efficiency should be top of mind as growers evaluate last season and start planting corn this spring. From nitrogen application timing to using proven technology to protect this valuable asset, consider these tips to maximize spring nitrogen applications.
- Timing matters. For healthy corn growth, nitrogen should be applied as close as possible to the point when the crop needs it most. Corn starts to take up a significant amount of nutrients between the V5 and V8 growth stages, or up to 75 days after emergence. It’s vital to preserve nitrogen by using tools such as a nitrogen stabilizer so corn has the nutrients it needs during these periods of maximum crop uptake.
Remind your customers to follow the 4R program this spring — a concept to use the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement.
- Weigh the loss factors. Timely fertilizer applications are important; however, even the seemingly perfect time can be derailed by weather. Early spring rains drive nitrogen lower into soil profiles, out of the reach of corn roots through nitrate leaching.
If a grower has experienced nitrogen loss and didn’t stabilize a given application, the grower may have applied the right rate, at the right time and at the right place; yet without stabilization, nitrogen was subjected to leaching, and yield and nitrogen loss occurred. A nitrogen stabilizer such as N-Serve® or Instinct® II acts as an insurance policy for your customers’ nitrogen, so it stays where it needs to be for corn to use.
- Pick a proven product. With a cluttered market of fertilizer efficiency products, be sure to research which products are proven to work.
Nitrapyrin, the active ingredient in N-Serve and Instinct II, has been rigorously tested by third-party experts for more than four decades. N-Serve and Instinct II have been proven to provide an average 6-bushel-per-acre increase compared with untreated acres by slowing the nitrification process.* Slowing the nitrification process keeps more nitrogen available to crops during the critical period of nutrient uptake.
N-Serve can be applied with anhydrous ammonia. Instinct II protects nitrogen when applied with UAN, urea and liquid manure. Both products have been proven to perform in fall or spring.
For more information on helping your customers improve nitrogen efficiency this spring, visit NitrogenStabilizers.com.