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Nitrogen Loss and Wet Conditions on Corn

Jun 25, 2019

In wet field areas it is common to find off-color corn, but that does not necessarily equate to nitrogen shortage. So be careful as you initially are seeing plant response to wet conditions (slowed root activity and growth).
The amount of nitrogen taken up by corn to the V6 stage is small (about 20 pounds nitrogen per acre, so pale-yellow color is now due to wet conditions). Before a decision is made to apply supplemental nitrogen, you should consider the potential productivity remaining after soils have dried. Has the stand been damaged, will the plants recover fully, will the area be replanted, and is the yield potential reduced because of conditions other than nitrogen loss? It is possible that the combination of inorganic nitrogen remaining in the soil, plus nitrogen mineralized during the rest of the growing season, can supply adequate nitrogen

It is the conversion of soil N and applied N (fertilizer and manure) to nitrate, and subsequent excessively wet, warm soils, that enhance the potential for N losses. Nitrogen in organic or ammonium forms will not be subject to loss. Use of fertilizer products containing more ammonium, use of a nitrification inhibitor, and application closer to a period of wet conditions result in less loss.
Please contact Kyle Rose at the office for ant questions and for post application with spreader truck or helicopter.
(618) 547-3105

(references: Iowa State University / integrated crop management) 

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