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Nutrition

Extension publications and summaries of demonstrations and research conducted involving the use of starter fertilizers with corn in Pennsylvania.

Starter fertilizer is a small quantity of fertilizer nutrients applied in close proximity to the seed at planting. Starter fertilizers enhance the development of emerging seedlings by supplying essential nutrients in accessible locations near the roots.

Nitrogen (N), an element that literally surrounds us, changes in form and chemistry almost continuously and moves from one location to another without our notice.

The chlorophyll meter is a portable, handheld device that instantaneously measures the greenness (or chlorophyll content) of a plant in the field.

Nitrogen (N) is important for optimum corn production. The total N requirement can be met in a number of ways.

Nitrogen (N) management is one of the most difficult decisions in corn production because of the many factors that influence nitrogen behavior, including materials, timing, and, especially, weather.

This video provides an explanation and demonstration of some important considerations when collecting and preparing stalk samples for nitrate analysis.

Testing the nitrate concentrations in the lower portion of cornstalks at the end of the growing season can be done to determine if the right amount of nitrogen was used on the field.

The response to starter fertilizers for corn on soils testing high for P has been inconsistent. This is one of several trials that is underway to evaluate the need for starter fertilizer.

Several states have evaluated starter fertilizers recently and concluded that 2-1-0 or 1-1-0 blends are superior to traditional 1-2-1 or 1-3-1 blends that are common in Pennsylvania. We were interested in evaluating these types of starters as well as UAN as a starter and S as a starter fertilizer component on these soils.

This is the first of a two-year study to evaluate starter fertilizer alternatives on soils testing high for P. The treatments were designed to compare various dry blends of ammonium sulfate, and Pand K, as well as several liquid pop-up fertilizers applied in the row with the seed.

Traditionally, producers have used 1-2-1 or 1-3-1 starter fertilizers for corn. These starter fertilizers add more P to soils already high in P and may not be the best alternative.

Choosing between a liquid, dry, or no starter at all should depend on soil testing, equipment capabilities, price, handling ease and availability.

With collaboration from farmers, researchers, and extension personnel we were able to continue our starter fertilizer research in 2002 with 20 on-farm field experiments throughout the state and 1 in New York.

This study was a three year study to evaluate starter fertilizer alternatives on soils testing high for P.

Starter fertilizer is a significant cost in many corn producers' budgets. The addition of a starter is known to be especially important during early, sometimes stressful planting conditions.

As part of our contribution to a regional cropping systems project sponsored by the Foundation for Agronomic Research, we have been evaluating various liquid starter fertilizers for corn.

What benefit do you get from the use of a starter fertilizer? Does the particular hybrid you are planting make a difference in your answer to the previous questions? Unfortunately there is no simple answer to these questions. You may be surprised at the results of two separate university trials which address these issues.

At the 1998 American Society of Agronomy meetings in Baltimore, University of Wisconsin researchers Larry Bundy and Todd Andraski reported on an extensive study of starter fertilizer on corn.

A well managed, healthy soil with frequent applications of manure has the ability to supply significant quantities of N to a growing corn crop.

Weather and soil physical properties dictate the fate of N in the soil.

A well managed, healthy soil with frequent applications of manure has the ability to supply significant quantities of N to a growing corn crop.

Corn stover baling removes valuable crop nutrients from the field. The amount and value of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in stover clearly should be considered a cost of stover baling.

Annual additions of Manures, Cover crops, Crop residues and No-till production practices can build the pool of organic N within a soil.