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Late N applications can pay
In many cases, farmers can garner full yields even with late nitrogen (N) applications. Peter Scharf, University of Missouri Extension soil fertility specialist, created this graph that shows the effect of delayed N timing on corn yields.
The data from five states shows that in most cases, full corn yields can occur even if farmers apply N late. This includes no more than 60 pounds per acre of N was applied at planting. Scharf points out the effects of the delay should even be smaller for producers who applied a full N rate and then lost N as the growing season occurred.
Scharf notes MU researchers had rescue N studies with several producers in 2010. They applied N mainly around the tassel or silking state. Results at presstime from three Missouri farmers include:
- Producer A, 3 tests in west-central Missouri: 44, 54, and 27 bushel per acre increases.
- Producer B (1 test in west-central Missouri: 7 bushels per acre increase.
- Producer C (2 tests in western Illinois): 2 tests, 12 and 41 bushels per acre.
On average, these Missouri tests average out to nearly a 31-bushel per acre yield increase.