Maximize Fall Nitrogen Investment

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, November 2013

High yielding corn removes a great deal of nitrogen (N) from a field. While it is tempting to keep field work momentum going, applying anhydrous ammonia and urea before soils are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit can be costly. Cool soils slow down the natural process of soil bacteria converting ammonium in nitrogen fertilizers to nitrates. Nitrates can slip away past the crop’s rooting zone and into groundwater, posing both a financial loss and a potential water quality problem.  AgVenture suggests:

  • Consider using N Serve slows down the conversion and may help protect your nitrogen investment
  • Consider applying a portion of your N needs this fall as NH3, and saving the remaining needed N application for spring/summer as a weed & feed and/or side dress application.

Each of these practices helps assure appropriate N levels are available at the key times your corn crop needs it, ultimately enhancing the crop’s ability to maximize yield and your ability to maximize profitability.