The use of iron (Fe), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), and boron (B) is not suggested for corn fertilizer programs in Minnesota. If conditions suggest that a soil nitrate test is warranted, collect a pre-plant, 0-2 ft. soil sample taking enough soil cores from a field so that the sample is representative of the entire field. For example, starter fertilizer containing ammonium thiosulfate should not be placed in contact with the seed (Hergert and Wortmann, 2006). In 2017 and 2018 we conducted 11 trials exploring the impact of starter and/or sidedress S on corn yield (Figure 2). Sulfur is the fourth most essential nutrient for healthy crops following nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In a year following a widespread drought, 2012 for example, a majority of fields will have significant residual nitrate. A five-step process is suggested when the soil nitrate-nitrogen test is considered. A combination of band and broadcast applications is suggested if the soil test for P is very low (0-5 ppm for Bray; 0-3 ppm for Olsen). Sulfur application increased yield in 6 of 11 trials. Indeed, we have diagnosed S deficiency in corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa in both research fields and farmer’s fields. Eastern Cornbelt: Ammonium thiosulfate pricing was pegged at $200-$240/st FOB in the Eastern Cornbelt, with the low confirmed at Ottawa and the high at Burns Harbor. The application of potash in a band is emphasized if the soil test for K is in the high range (121-160 ppm). Ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) was mixed with urea ammonium nitrate (UAN- 32% or 28%) and ammonium polyphosphate (10-34-0) and applied in 2x2 fertilizer placement. Since the availability of elemental S may be minimal in early spring, a fertilizer containing all or at least some SO4-S, in addition to elemental S, is preferred over a fertilizer with elemental S alone. Except for large particles of zinc oxide, all are equally effective. Grain yield was increased by sidedress S in 6 of 11 trials. Some soils have a reduced potential attributed to erosion, reduced water holding capacity caused by lower organic matter content, sandy soil texture, poor drainage, and restricted root growth.  The fluctuation in fertilizer price affects the economic optimum N rate. Sulfur Guidelines *Research data suggest that a rate of 10 lbs of sulfate S may be warranted when corn follows soybean on poorly drained calcareous soils An example calculation of the price/value ratio is if N fertilizer costs $0.40 per lb N or $820 per ton of anhydrous ammonia, and corn is valued at $4.00 per bushel, the ratio would be 0.40/4.00 = 0.10. The general recommendations for K fertilizer based on soil test for corn can be found in Tables 10, 11, 12 and 13. Minnesota corn growers receive substantial return for money invested in nitrogen (N) fertilizers. While general fertilizer use contributed substantially to yield increases in the past, total fertilizer management which optimizes nutrient efficiency will be needed to increase future production and profitability. Ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) was mixed with urea ammonium … The prescribed (rate assumes that best management practices (BMPs) will be followed for the specific conditions. The N rates listed in Tables 1 and 2 define the total amount of fertilizer N that should be applied. Soil test categories represent the probability the soil will supply all the needed crop nutrients. The corn supplemental N rate calculator can be found at: Banding fertilizer with the corn seed (AG-NM-1502), Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Production, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Education, Managing the rotation from alfalfa to corn, NG = Amount of fertilizer N needed, lb/acre, Table 1 value = the amount of fertilizer needed adjusted for soil potential, value ratio, and risk. Generally these fertilizers are spread prior to planting therefore some of the SO4-S might be lost from sandy soils before the time of crop need. For any banded application, use the rates suggested for band use. Corn yield may still be increased by P at High and Very High soil test, but the net return to P may not be profitable. Soils in this region are frequently cool and wet in the spring and these conditions can lead to a requirement for phosphate fertilizer early in the growing season. The suggestions for using Mg in a fertilizer program are summarized in Table 13. Table 1. Sulfur deficiency is often seen in sandier, lower OM, and higher elevation areas of a field while lower lying, higher OM, and heavier textured areas may have sufficient S. Soil testing methods measure the SO4-S form of S. Unfortunately soil testing is not particularly useful for predicting S deficiency because it does not take into account the organic S component that might become available to the crop. Ammonium Thiosulfate (ATS) is a clear liquid fertilizer that contains nitrogen and sulfur with a 12-0-0-26S analysis. There should be no need for the addition of Mg if dolomitic limestone has been applied for legume crops in the rotation or when soils are irrigated and the water source used contains a high concentration of Mg. Additional Information on rotating from alfalfa to corn is based on work by Yost, M.A., J.A. Broadcast applications of phosphate fertilizer have a low probability of increasing corn yields when the soil test for P is in the high range (16-20 ppm for Bray; 12-15 ppm for Olsen).


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