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Last month I covered the first step in Nitrogen Stewardship, Nitrogen Stabilizers. This month, I am going to cover the next step in Nitrogen Stewardship, Split Application.
While Nitrogen Stabilizers do a good job of protecting your nitrogen investment until the corn crop needs it, they cannot protect all season long. Most stabilizers have protection for 90 days in soil temps above 50 degrees. Basically, if you apply your spring anhydrous with N-Serve on March 15th and soil temps are 50 degrees and remain above that temperature, your protection will last until roughly June 15th. By June 15th, the corn crop has only used a fraction of its nitrogen needs, with roughly another 90 days to go. To get you through the second half of the growing season, your next step in your Nitrogen Stewardship plan is to delay and split apply a portion of your nitrogen needs as a side-dress application.
Below are some questions you may ask before split applying your nitrogen investment.
When does the corn crop use a majority of its nitrogen?
What are the best times to split apply my nitrogen and what are my equipment options?
How do I know how much nitrogen I should apply?
In a perfect world, you would apply the amount of nitrogen that you have saved back for split application. However, excessive rainfall or lack of rainfall can change the amount of nitrogen that is needed for a given crop. Below are two options to help you decide how much nitrogen you should apply.
With the combined Environmental and Economic benefits of split applying your nitrogen investment, it is a win-win for the environment and you the grower. Split applying nitrogen is also one of the components of our SUSTAIN platform. If you would like more information on split applying nitrogen on your farm or joining SUSTAIN, please contact your local Key Cooperative Sales Agronomist.
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