Starter Program on Corn

I spent some time in the SOIL HEALTH STUDY FIELD this morning. I was taking stand counts, digging some holes in the ground and looking at root systems, checking for insect damage- the kind of things that we all should be doing as our corn emerges. This field of corn has not had the best conditions (weather wise) since it was planted on April 18, but is now coming along nicely.

The root systems are getting established, as shown in the picture, as they are down at least five (5) inches, and are really taking in the starter fertilizer which we applied. We have several different mixes in this field this year; the main one being five gallons of 9-18-9-1, one gallon of 0-0-30, with one pint each of Zinc, Manganese, and Calcium.                                         

One of the other things which stood out is the difference in the stand and the appearance of the corn with starter vs. no starter. Take a look:


Yes, in the mid-morning sun light, there is still a yellow color to the plant, but that is changing quickly now that we are getting some heat units and the corn is utilizing the starter. The conditions that we have had the last three weeks (cool, wet, cloudy days) are when a CropChoice starter program is a must. 

I am really looking forward to checking this field out next week, as the forecast is daytime temps in the mid 80’s. Check back for updates!

John Viertel, CCA