Corn growers who received heavy rains in parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri the past two weeks are checking for nitrification loss. (See rainfall map below.) If your soil nitrogen analysis is less than 20 parts per million based on N in the top 12 inches, you may want to foliar-feed or Y-drop additional nitrogen to avoid premature corn die-down and yield loss.
July 13, 2021 Just over a decade ago, we demonstrated how WakeUP Summer can improve coverage and translocation of foliar-sprayed N on rapidly growing corn. In our replicated strip trials, just 2 gallons of slow-release 28% nitrogen (Kugler’s KQ-XRN) in 10 gallons of water added 6.8 bu. of yield. In strips where 5 ounces of WakeUP Summer were added to the spray solution, yields jumped to 11.9 bushels. Each trial was replicated four times, alternated across the field to reduce the influence of soil variability. Each harvested strip included 1.06 acres.
AgWeb posted a July 9 report by Clinton Griffiths, Heavy Rains Rob Corn of Yield-Boosting Nutrients, detailing how warm, rain-saturated soil can lose 60% to 80% of available nitrogen in saturated, warm soils. The story presents a video by Michigan crop consultants Missy and Bill Bauer showing how to check N levels in the top 12 inches.
The photos and chart below describe results of our field trial. Since then, we’ve learned foliar feeding can be 90% efficient in getting nitrogen into crop metabolism. This is further evidence of our rationale for owning a high-clearance sprayer — even an older one without GPS and computer-controlled pumps.