Corn Fertilizer Recommendations
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Corn Fertilizer Recommendations

For profitable production, corn requires adequate fertilizer management. Applying the right fertilizers at the right rate and at the right time is crucial for a successful crop.

The three main factors you should consider when deciding on the best fertilizer plan for your corn crop are:

  • The potential yield of the variety you grow.
  • The fertility of your soil.
  • Fertilizing according to corn growth stages and GDD.

CORN YIELD POTENTIAL

The nutrient requirements of corn depend on the yield goal and potential. New hybrids and high-yielding corn varieties will have a higher nutrient demand.

For example, to produce 230 bushels per acre (approx. 14.5 ton/ha) of new hybrid corn, the crop requires the following nutrient rates in lbs/acre:

N P2O5 K2O CaO MgO S Fe Mn Zn Cu B
247 192 194 80 75 23 2.6 0.45 0.5 0.125 0.32

SOIL FERTILITY

The most important management tool you have to determine which fertilizer is best for your corn field is testing your soil.

Testing your soil allows you to determine the level of nutrients already available in the soil and which nutrients have to be supplemented using fertilizers.

This way you can have a fertilizer recommendation calibrated to your specific field conditions.

Plant tissue analysis and water analysis are other important tools you can use to adjust the fertilizer recommendation.

CORN GROWTH STAGES

Corn requires different nutrient rates at different stages of its growth. The timing of nutrient application for corn is critical.

Corn-stages.jpg

According to those factors, it is obvious that there is no “single” “generic” fertilizer for corn.

In order to maximize corn crop, you should consider all 3 main factors and “create” the right fertilizer rates, mixture, timing that will optimize your fertilizer use.

Author: Guy Sela, international expert in plant nutrition and irrigation.