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Fluid Journal : Fall 2012
Fall 2012 The Fluid Journal 10 Experiments conducted in four Kansas locations in 2010 and 2011. The Fluid Journal • Ofﬁcial Journal of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation • Fall 2012 • Vol. 20, No. 4, Issue# 78 Drs. Dorivar Ruiz Diaz and Nathan Mueller Starter/Foliar Fertilizers Improve Corn/Soybean Yields The use of alternative fertilizer application strategies can help to achieve maximum yields and enhance nutrient use efficiency (NUE), particularly under environments with high yield potential. Often a combination of broadcast and band fertilizer applications can provide optimum nutrient uptake in low fertility/low soil test conditions. However, under current reduced tillage systems with high yield potential, alternative fertilizer application methods and sources should be considered. With the increase in corn and soybean yields due to important genetic improvements, demand for nutrients has also increased. It is likely that the increased use of reduced tillage systems and some soil conditions, such as high soil pH found in large areas of the Great Plains, may decrease the plant-availability of some macro and micronutrients. This may be corrected through some combination of starter and foliar fertilizer application or fertilizer rate adjustment of both macro and micronutrients. Previous work showed that direct application of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to soybeans can have a significant impact on soybean yield, with average increases as high as 34 bu/A. However, further studies are needed to investigate starter and foliar application with other nutrients to maximize yields in soybeans. On the other hand, fluid fertilizer placed in a band near the seed at planting of corn has frequently shown positive effects on yield. Furthermore, this approach can be especially valuable under conditions of reduced tillage. In addition, foliar fertilization could, in some cases, increase nutrient supply at early growth stages when the root system is not well developed. Thus, foliar application of nutrients to corn and soybeans, in addition to starter fertilizer, can help to overcome possible limitations in crop nutrient uptake and increase NUE and yields. Some soil conditions such as high soil pH and low organic matter may contribute to decreasing the supply of micronutrients to crops. Increased nutrient demands from Summary:Corn and soybean production under high yield environments may benefit from the combined use of starter and foliar fertilization, including macro and micronutrients. Experiments were conducted in 2010 and 2011 at four locations for corn and soybean under irrigation. Changes in soybean leaf concentration due to micronutrient starter fertilizers were observed for boron (B) and manganese (Mn). Average soybean yield was slightly higher when micronutrients were included in the starter fertilizer. Corn plant concentration (V6) was increased for copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). Early growth was significantly increased over the control with starter fertilizer, however no additional biomass increase was observed with the addition of micronutrients. "Foliar N application showed average corn yield increases"
Late Spring 2012