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Corn+Soybean Digest

Options for applying nitrogen

Producers have two options for putting on additional nitrogen fertilizer if their fields have lost nitrogen due to the wet weather.

SDSU Extension Soil Fertility Specialist Jim Gerwing says dry urea can be broadcast over the top of the plants. But he cautions that the height of the corn in some areas where plants are beginning to get a little growth could interfere with the pattern of the spreader mechanism so that the fertilizer isn't evenly distributed.

Dry urea won't do any harm if it gets into the whorls of the plants although it may cause some white areas on leaves as they grow out of the whorl, Gerwing says.

The other option is putting on liquid 28% nitrogen fertilizer with drop nozzles on the soil between the rows to prevent leaf burn.

Either option has equal potential for some volatilization losses but it should not be serious and a rain after application should help move it into the soil.

Confirming nitrogen deficiency before side dressing corn with nitrogen can be done with tissue sampling or with a nitrate soil test to the two-foot depth.

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