Renewable Farming

Foliar WakeUP time for corn and beans: V2 to V4

A dozen years ago our first recommendation for applying WakeUP was: “Spray when corn or beans are at stage V2 to V4.” That’s about pop-can high. We’d found that’s the best timing to trigger more prolific rooting, plus a burst of mycorrhizal growth, which amplifies uptake of moisture and nutrients.

But few farmers found the time for that trip — too busy finishing planting. Or, they objected that “most of the spray just goes on the ground at that stage.”

May 26, 2021.  Later, we learned why WakeUP stimulates big roots: It makes sugars and other photosynthetic nutrients easier to pump from leaves to roots and growing points. With WakeUP, plant sap has a lower surface tension flowing through the crop’s phloem circulation.

That led to a big discovery: foliar-sprayed WakeUP enhances nutrient coverage, absorption and translocation. Many farmers found that the same mode of action intensifies systemic herbicide effectiveness, too — although our primary focus is on improving performance of nutrients and biologicals. 

Now we’re seeing a few new post-emergence herbicides enter the market, and they’re often sprayed about V2 to V3 on corn. This offers a free spraying trip for WakeUP.  Lower surface tension of your spray solution means more thorough herbicide coverage and improved translocation in weeds. Experienced WakeUP users say they can cut herbicide rates if WakeUP is in the tank. 

Illinois research agronomist Jim Porterfield verified why corn generates more roots after spraying with WakeUP and a bit of urea. He measured the sugar levels of corn roots two days after spraying with WakeUP Spring. He measured a 70% gain in sugar content of roots of corn foliar-sprayed with WakeUP. Here’s a one-page PDF summary of his research. Many farmers have verified it by digging roots of treated versus untreated corn. Example: see nearby photo.

Left side: Corn sprayed with WakeUP at V2 has
more root mass than untreated corn on right.

As early as 2012, we repeatedly tested this corn response by growing corn in a vertical wall of soil: A one-foot wide, three foot deep and 16 foot long “terrarium”. At season’s end, one side of this form was peeled off and the corn roots were washed out with a hose and gentle pressure, to preserve as many of the fine roots as possible.  The results are a WakeUP classic result, as shown in the photo below:

Five ounces of WakeUP costs about $3.50 at our in-season price. Farmers who’ve used this foliar treatment for years say they typically see 4 to 7 more bushels of corn with A WakeUP and trace element blend. That’s on top of making your herbicide and any foliar nutrient more effective, too.  

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