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Corn starter fertilizer trial summary: NDSU recommends starter phosphorus for corn


CornPNDSU recommends applying starter phosphorus (P) fertilizer for corn to promote early season plant growth and increase grain yield potential. Starter fertilizer should be band-applied within two inches of the seed, either in-furrow (IF) or side-band. Generally, the ‘starter’ effect can be achieved with 2.5-3 gpa of 10-34-0.

In CREC corn trials conducted during 2007-10 on soils testing low to medium for P (5-10 ppm Olsen test), yield averaged 124 bu/A with IF 10-34-0 applied at 2-4 gpa compared to the untreated check at 112 bu/A.  When the rate of IF-applied 10-34-0 was raised from an average of 3 gpa to 6 gpa, yield increased 7 bu/A. Approximate cost of 10-34-0 is $3/gal averaged across 7 CREC trials conducted in 2008-10, yield response with 5-6 gpa 10-34-0 applied IF compared to a 2-inch band was similar (both placement methods resulted in 127 bu/A).

2015 corn fertilizer trial treatments planned with 10-34-0 include broadcast, pre-plant incorporated versus a starter band; IF plus 2-inch band versus sole starter application methods; and IF 10-34-0 versus 6-24-6.

Greg Endres
Area Specialist, Cropping Systems

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