Why Use a Starter Fertilizer?
Your crops require a healthy start to each day, which is why it’s critical to be proactive and use liquid fertilizers in the early growth stages. Plants that fall behind early will produce less than their potential but applying starter fertilizer can ensure they reach their maximum yield potential.
Early planting frequently means less than perfect soil conditions, but liquid starter usage helps to meet early season nutrient demand until the seedling’s roots utilize other applied nutrients or the soil reserve. Field conditions also present challenges to nutrient availability in high residue environments or when weather conditions are too wet, too dry, too cold, or soil is compacted. Starter fertilizer can help to compensate for these challenges and keep the young seedling on the fast track to maximum yield. Typical yield response to starter applications ranges from 5 – 15 bushels of corn per acre depending on weather and field conditions.
In addition to placing the three main macronutrients, starter programs also provide an avenue for the placement of certain micronutrients, as well. Corn yield is largely impacted by nutrients (or lack thereof) as evidenced by Minnesota researchers who found that corn grain responded well to all three N-P-K nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) regardless of tillage practices.
In conjunction with Kansas State University, the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) created the Guide to Best Management Practices for fertilizing irrigated corn. They found that starter fertilizer applications have proven effective in enhancing nutrient uptake and corn yield during early planting in the central Great Plains. This even reigns true of soils that are high in available phosphorus (P).
Simply stated, selecting the right starter nutrients is critical to your crops and we can help!
Liquid Starter vs. Dry Starter vs. None
Liquid starter fertilizer is more readily available to the plant than dry starter (that requires water to be broken down). The last thing a grower wants to find is their band of dry starter still laying in the soil 30 days after planting, not broken down to be absorbed into the soil solution and, therefore, unavailable to the corn plants.
Farmers make many decisions throughout the year to minimize risk and maximize yields. Foregoing starter opens up the potential for yield robbing conditions to affect your crops. Using starter fertilizer mitigates this risk and achieves maximum yield which returns higher profit margins on every acre.
For more than 60 years, Twin State has insisted on offering farmers only the best products using the highest quality ingredients to be used in our production process. Products that are designed to handle easily, safely, and provide an economical option for your crop nutrient needs.
We’ve got the knowledge and research condensed down for you. Based on that, we can tell you which product we think works best early in the growth stage of your crops and where to procure it in your local area.
Give Frank or Del a call regarding your fertility program and applying starter fertilizers. We can help you navigate your product choices and placement options to best fit your operation.
Narrowing Down Starter Fertilizer Options
Consult the experts