One major misconception about growing a crop is that once the seed is planted and the crop is up, not much more work is required until harvest. In reality, as soon as growers catch their breath after a rigorous planting season, they must continue making critical management decisions to ensure a good harvest. One important decision is how to manage the sidedress application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of sidedress fertilizer application and how to optimize it for maximum corn yield.
Along with the increased cost of commercial fertilizers, the adoption of the 4R approach to fertilizer efficiency has changed the way many producers apply nutrients—especially N—to a growing corn crop. In particular, the “right” timing is critical for optimal N uptake. A developing corn plant needs the majority of its N later in the growing season. Specifically, rapid uptake and utilization of N is essential for maximum grain yield from growth stage V8 through VT/R1. Any limitations on plant available N at this point can significantly reduce the crop’s final yield.
Sidedressing N by the V6 growth stage is a common practice, employed to supply the needs of the crop when the N demand is highest. The use of nitrogen inhibitor/stabilizer technology can protect the efficacy of the applied fertilizer, but lacks the ability to convert nutrients into plant-available forms or facilitate uptake by the roots. This is where Accomplish LM, a biochemical fertilizer catalyst specifically formulated to increase nutrient availability and improve plant uptake, comes in.
When Accomplish LM is combined with a sidedress application of fertilizer, increased N availability and facilitation of N uptake results in increased corn yield. Field trials around the country continually show the increased efficiency of the sidedress applications when combined with the biochemical fertilizer catalyst technology in Accomplish LM.
In a standard sidedress program, 1 quart/acre of Accomplish LM can be combined with various rates of liquid N fertilizer.
When higher rates of fertilizer (20+ gallons/acre) are used in a sidedress program, an increased rate (2 quarts/acre) of Accomplish LM may be needed to facilitate the additional nutrient load.
In areas of the country where fertigation through center pivot irrigation systems is common, Accomplish LM can also be incorporated into these applications. Corn silage increased 1.5 tons/acre (~12 bushels) with the addition of Accomplish LM through the pivot in a fertigation application of nitrogen around the V6 (common sidedress timing) growth stage.
Browse our sidedress resources to learn more about how to optimize your sidedress N application using Accomplish LM technology.