Feed Your Sweet Corn the Right Way

Feed Your Sweet Corn the Right Way

The best strategy related to planning how to feed your upcoming corn field is to take a soil sample and send it to the Plant Science Lab at TerraLink’s Abbotsford office. Not only will you be given an agronomic recommendation of how best to feed your corn, it has been proven repeatedly that a soil test saves you money. How? By helping you to avoid applying nutrients that are already in sufficient quantities in your soil. Why spend money on what you don’t need?

If your soil test shows you lack potassium, you can easily take care of this nutrient requirement ahead of planting. Potassium is largely immobile in the soil, so you can apply really as much as necessary as a broadcast application and disc it in before planting the field. To that end, TerraLink stocks straight muriate of potash (0-0-62), sulphate of potash (0-0-50+17S) and a variety of high potash blends. If you know you will also need magnesium, you can apply 0-0-22+22S+11Mg, a mineral called langbeinite.

Most or all of the requirement for phosphate should be applied at the time of seeding. This is typically achieved by what is called a “2 x 2” spatial relationship between the seed and the fertilizer. If you were to be in the soil at the level of the seed, and then look along the row lengthways, the fertilizer would then be banded 2 inches to the side and 2 inches below the seed. Often, a little nitrogen, potash, magnesium and sulphur can safely accompany the phosphate. Also, a large concentration of phosphate can reduce the absorption of boron, especially in acidic soils. All TerraLink’s high phosphate planter blends therefore contain a small amount of boron. Consider using one of 9-40-4, 14-28-6 or 11-18-14. These are all standard stocked blends. All of them contain boron, zinc, magnesium and sulphur as well.

Some of your nitrogen needs can be taken care of before seeding, along with potash, especially if you are farming a coarse soil with a low soil test level for N. Otherwise, submit samples for our Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test, a fast lab test that will advise you precisely how much nitrogen is recommended for sidedress before the corn is at knee-high stage. A large variety of nitrogen fertilizers are available stocked at TerraLink to to suit your nitrogen requirements.

If a micronutrient nutritional deficiency is detected in the foliage of your corn, any micronutrient can be applied as a foliar sprayed application. Again, TerraLink stocks a wide variety of sulphate-based or chelated micronutrients, whether powders or liquids.

If you have questions about corn nutrition, please inquire with the TerraLink Sales Desk.

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