Spring is not the only time growers should assess nitrogen availability. Recent studies have shown that nitrogen levels can be determined by measuring nitrate concentrations in the lower portion of cornstalks at the end of the growing season, according to an article from Iowa State University.
Corn plants with deficient levels of nitrogen remove nitrogen from the lower cornstalks and leaves in the grain-filling stage of growth.1
Therefore, testing nitrogen levels in the lower part of the plant at harvest will provide a good indication of the overall plant health, says Eric Scherder, Ph.D., field scientist, Dow AgroSciences.
A number of factors can cause nitrogen deficiency throughout the growing season, which can significantly reduce yield at harvest, according to Scherder. Leaching and denitrification are the most common ways nitrogen is lost.
“Assessing nitrogen availability at harvest can help growers plan for the following season so they can adjust their fertilizer practices in fall and spring to ensure nitrogen is available for crops to use,” Scherder says.
Nitrogen deficiency can cause growth issues in corn, which can lead to significant yield loss. Should your customers’ crops show signs of nitrogen deficiency at harvest, there are steps they can take to reduce nitrogen loss next season. Nitrogen stabilizers are one of the most effective ways growers can protect nitrogen.
When applied with anhydrous ammonia, N-Serve® nitrogen stabilizer works below ground to prevent leaching and denitrification. Instinct® II nitrogen stabilizer protects nitrogen when applied with urea, UAN and liquid manure. Instinct II and N-Serve slow the nitrification process, which keeps more nitrogen available to crops for optimum nutrient uptake and maximized yield potential.
For more information on testing nitrogen levels at harvest, read Cornstalk testing to evaluate nitrogen management from Iowa State University. To learn how to prevent nitrogen loss, visit NitrogenStabilizers.com.