Research Report: Corn Starter Impacts Early Season Plant and Soil Properties

Dec 05, 2019

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By Hannah York, Edwin Ritchey
Starter fertilizers are used by producers to help overcome wet and cool soils often encountered with early planted corn. Early planted corn in no-tilled fields and limited drainage typically have the greatest chance of response from starter fertilizers. Starter fertilizers can range from a mixture of UAN, ammonium polyphosphate (APP), and other fertilizers to low salt (LS) formulations containing N, P, K and various micronutrients. Some that promote LS starter fertilizer products claim that UAN and/or APP contain salts at levels that will inhibit seed germination, growth and ultimately yield, even at low use rates. This study was conducted to determine the influence of starter fertilizer combinations and rates on corn emergence, growth, electrical conductivity, grain moisture, and grain yield. Corn (AgriGold AG6472) was planted on 6 June, 2019 with a four row Precision™ planter. Starter fertilizer was applied in-furrow at planting with a Surefire injection pump system. Treatments included UAN, APP, and a LS starter at 2.5 and 5.0 gallons per acre (gpa), 5.0 gpa mixture of UAN and APP, and an untreated control. All response variables were collected from the middle two rows of each plot.
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