Keep Nitrogen Available to Corn During All Growth Stages. Here's Why.

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If your plan is to help farmers harvest a bumper corn crop this fall, one of the best things you can do is to keep corn well-fed during the growing season, advises Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist. He says one of the best ways to accomplish that is to feed the crop adequate nitrogen along the way as part of an overall Systems Approach to management.

"You want to keep enough nitrogen available during all corn growth stages so crop growth never slows down," Ferrie notes.

He says nitrogen works in corn like gasoline in a vehicle, fueling crop growth from emergence through maturity. A lack of nitrogen at any point along the way can cause the crop to sputter or stall.

"Corn that's nitrogen deficient at the beginning of the growing season gives up yield potential," Ferrie says. "Nitrogen-deficient corn in the late reproductive stages costs actual yield."
Iowa State University Extension research indicates the maximum nitrogen uptake in corn occurs in periods of maximum growth, roughly in the V9 to V18 growth stages.


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