Are Your Customers Asking about Starter Fertilizer?

Make sure your customers have the right conditions before pulling the trigger on starter fertilizer, say industry experts and university Extension specialists. While it can provide positive ROI, it's not always guaranteed. Learn what conditions are most likely to pay off.

"Starter fertilizer results in better root systems early," says Todd Carpenter, Verdesian Life Sciences technical development manager in a recent news release. "Better root systems mean that the plant will use water and nutrients more efficiently, allowing it to grow more rapidly and put more of those resources into grain."

If farmers have low testing soils or planted into cold soils they're more likely to see positive early growth responses to starter fertilizer, according to Iowa State University (ISU) Extension research. Here are a few more instances in which ISU Extension says you'll likely see positive response:

  • Early planting (results from N and P)
  • No-till with heavy residue or early planting (N and P)
  • Late planting (mainly from P)
  • Continuous corn, especially in no-till (P and K)
  • With lower than recommended P and K broadcast and without N application before planting

In the Farm Journal Test Plots operators found a seven to 10 bu. response to starter placed 2x2 and a three to five bu. response to in-furrow application. Combined the plots show a 15 to 20 bu. yield increase.

ISU recommends starter fertilizer for corn when fields have poor drainage, cold soil, crop residue or late planting dates with full season hybrids.

"Many would argue that when striving to achieve consistently higher yields, a starter fertilization program should be seriously considered," says the Fertilizer Institute. "Starter fertilizer does provide some level of insurance against nutrient variability and adverse growing conditions."


Latest News

FieldAlytics Engage: Farmer-Facing App Clears The Communication Pathway

“This is a powerful app designed to strengthen service providers’ relationships with growers by housing essential information in a single source,” says Ernie Chappell, president of Ever.Ag Agribusiness.

Plagued By Drought and High Input Prices, Cotton Acres Could Crumble This Year

Just ahead of USDA's Prospective Plantings report, the largest cotton growing state in the U.S. is seeing another year of drought, and with fields resembling the Dust Bowl, crop prospects are dwindling by the day.

Farmers Really Want to Plant Corn Not Soybeans, Says FBN Chief Economist 

Kevin McNew says the company's survey of 2,000-plus growers shows they will plant 92.5 million acres of corn and 84.5 million acres of soybeans. Both estimates are counter to what USDA projected in February.

What Is Your Definition Of Success In Farming?

In farming and in life, success can be defined in endless ways. Five farmers share their perspective.

ADM Offers BiOWiSH Fertilizer Enhancement At 7 Locations

The BiOWiSH Fertilizer Enhancement is specifically designed to optimize yield potential by improved nutrient uptake and to improve soil conditions for increased plant vigor.

Unloading grain
Deadline Looms, but still no Movement on U.S.-Mexico Corn Trade Dispute, Grassley says

Iowa Senator encourages U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to move toward instituting USMCA dispute settlement process.