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Figure 1. Limited root growth due to sidewall compaction.
Figure 2. Corn seedling damaged by chilling injury.Starter fertilizers may help mitigate decreased mineralization and reduced nutrient mobility found in cool, wet soils typical during planting. Starter fertilizers can help establish a uniform stand that may pollinate earlier and have a higher tolerance to heat stress. Precautions should be taken to avoid injury to seedling roots from applied fertilizers. Planting too quickly after an anhydrous ammonia application could result in root burn. General recommendations are to wait approximately 7 to 10 days to plant after an anhydrous ammonia application.2 However, there is no definitive waiting period as injury to spring-planted seedlings has occurred from fall-applied anhydrous ammonia. Anhydrous applications should be applied diagonally across the field to avoid the potential of placing a corn row directly into a previous anhydrous knife slot. Anhydrous ammonia application into wet soils may result in soil smearing as the knives pass through the soil profile. Consequently, ammonia cannot dissipate from the soil-smeared slots.
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1 Nielsen, R.L. 2000. Corn growth and development. What goes on from planting to harvest? Purdue University. AGRY-97-07. https://www.agry.purdue.edu/. 2 Schwab, G. 2009. Avoiding anhydrous ammonia seedling injury. Corn & Soybean News. Volume 9, Issue 4. University of Kentucky. http://www.uky.edu/. 3 Beegle, D.B., Roth, G.W., and Lingenfelter, D.D. 2007. Starter fertilizer. Penn State Extension. Agronomy Facts 51. http://extension.psu.edu/. 4 Carter, P.R., Nafziger, E.D., and Hicks, D.R. 1992. Effects of uneven seedling emergence in corn. National Corn Handbook. Purdue University. NCH-36. https://www.extension.purdue.edu/. 5 Nielsen, R.L. 2001. Stand establishment variability in corn. AGRY-91-01. Purdue University. https://www.agry.purdue.edu/. 6 Elmore, R. 2002. How does planter speed affect plant spacing? Iowa State University. Corn Production. http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/. 7 Jasa, P. 2007. Increased planting speed can cost yields. Nebraska crop production & pest management information. University of Nebraska. CropWatch. http://cropwatch.unl.edu/. 8 Nielsen, R.L. 1993. Planting speed effects on stand establishment and grain yield of corn. Purdue University. AGRY-94-02. https://www.agry.purdue.edu/. Sawyer, J.E. 2003. Ammonia burn hits cornfields. Integrated Crop Management. Iowa State University. IC-490(12). http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/. Nielsen, R.L. 2005. Planter maintenance: less down time, more yield. Purdue University. Corny News Network. http://www.agry.purdue.edu/. Larson, E. 2009. Corn planting suggestions. Mississippi State University. Grain Crops Update. http://msucares.com/. Elmore, R. 2012. Imbibitional chilling and variable emergence. Iowa State University. Integrated Crop Management News. http://www.extension.iastate.edu/. Web sources verified 12/03/15. 140404070134