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Rush is on to get last nitrogen on corn

Rush is on to get last nitrogen on corn
Will soggy soils dry out in time for sidedress application on later-planted corn?

Corn may be green, growing and past sidedressing time. Or it may be less than knee-high, yellow and awaiting nitrogen, still sitting in saturated soils. It all depends upon where you live. The question becomes: Will soils dry out in time to finish sidedressing if you still have N to apply?

Related: Rain Continues to Foil Sidedressing Plans

One farmer in northwest Indiana still had 100 acres to sidedress a few days ago. His soils were wet, but he didn't have the extreme ponding prevalent a couple counties to the east. Anhydrous tanks were waiting in his barn lot. Provided by Ceres Solutions, they have a higher running gear and the tank sits on a higher frame than most anhydrous tanks.

Tall tank wagons: These taller wagons help sidedress larger corn after rain delays. The extra height may still not be enough in some cases this year.

According to the farmer, Ceres Solutions in his area have several tanks set up this way. He likes them because they allow more clearance to let him go as late as possible in bigger corn, which is important now. The wagons are also easier to handle in the field, he adds.

Whether soils get dry enough for him to finish sidedressing even with these taller frame wagons before corn gets too tall remains to be seen. The next option some agronomists are talking about is applying rescue N applications with high-clearance equipment. That may mean using drops in some cases. Some dealerships have high-clearance rigs with equipment set up just for this purpose. It may be either a front-mounted unit that extends to the ground and places fertilizer into the soil, or it may be an applicator equipped with the newer Y-drop system that spreads N out between the rows just at the surface.

Related: Do you still need to apply nitrogen for 2015 corn crop?

If you are in this position, with corn still needing nitrogen, consider checking with your dealer or dealers to see what equipment might be available in your area. This may be a year when it takes creativity to get all your N applied.

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