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Here is a link to a great little video out of the University of Minnesota on foliar feeding your crops. Some of the late season corn is coming on strong and looking good. Many soybeans are entering an ideal stage for foliar application as well. We offer a complete line of liquid products from The Andersons Plant Food, a major player in the foliar crop nutrition market. Our products offer a low use rate, great compatibility as well as crop safety. If you need help with tissue sampling or crop imagery to put together a foliar feeding plan, give me a call at 417-684-7472, or email me at If you are looking for a late season N application on your corn, our imagery can help us put together a variable rate plan to maximize that return on investment.

  • Writer's pictureJerry Morris

MANAGEMENT By Jessica Link, Product Specialist

The typical spring excitement switched to high levels of stress as #plant19 became #noplant19 in several areas of the country. Significant precipitation plagued the Midwest, putting a delay on growers getting into the field to plant. With a recent stretch of dry weather, growers worked to get as much seed into the ground as possible. As of June 17, 92% of the nation’s corn has been planted, compared to the four-year average of 100%. Ohio has planted the least amount of corn compared to other states, with only 68% of corn planted, followed by South Dakota with 78%. Overall, this spring has provided many challenges, causing increased stress on the grower as well as stressed crops in the ground. Understanding crop stress and how to overcome it will maximize the success of crop productivity this growing season.

Plant stress is inevitable, sometimes planned and sometimes not. Seeds that have been planted may be faced with wet soil conditions, causing a lack of oxygen getting to the roots and the leaching of valuable nutrients within the soil profile. A wet harvest last fall and this never-ending wet spring has caused a compaction layer within the root zone, limiting root growth and nutrient uptake. Much of the corn crop this year will suffer from sidewall compaction (Figure 1). Sidewall compaction occurs when planting takes place on wet soils. As the planter moves through the field, furrow openers smear the sidewall of the furrow, there by sealing it and creating a barrier that roots have little ability to penetrate. As a result, root interception of nutrients early in the season will be limited to nutrients applied with a starter fertilizer. 

Figure 1: This corn root photo taken by the University of Kentucky demonstrates sidewall compaction. The corn roots are extending to the right but not the left. 

The weather pattern thus far has given us a clear indication that plants will be or already are stressed by excess water. The National Weather Service predicts the wetter-than-normal pattern will persist throughout summer with average to slightly above-average temperatures (Figures 2 & 3). Excessive moisture can limit vegetative growth, especially if paired with temperature stress. The optimum temperature for corn growth is in the mid-70 degree F range. While the weather continues to remain relatively unpredictable, having a general idea of what is in store this summer will help with planning a fertility program for your crop.

Figure 2: Map released by the NOAA predicting precipitation patterns compared to the average for July, August, and September of 2019.

Figure 3: Map released by the NOAA predicting temperature patterns compared to the average for July, August, and September of 2019.

Another stressful phase for the plant during the growing season is the reproductive stage. An article published by Purdue University states, when stresses of temperature, moisture, and nutrients are combined, a yield reduction of up to 13% per day can occur. By eliminating the factor of nutrient stress, the overall total stress-load will be reduced, maximizing yield during the reproductive stage. Providing adequate fertility with a season-long nutrient management strategy will allow the crop to focus all of its energy on seed production, rather than scavenging for nutrients.

The best approach to minimizing stress on the crop, whether the stress is planned or unplanned, is with a season-long management approach. Beginning with a starter fertilizer is essential to a great start. A starter fertilizer provides vital nutrients to get the crop out of the ground quickly and efficiently. At sidedress, pairing UAN with UltraMate® LQ or UltraMate Zn will stabilize the nitrogen, keeping it around and available longer for crop use. For more information, read the May 2019 Agronomy Update. Foliar fertilizer applications are recommended, beginning at the V4 growth stage in corn and soybeans. There are a variety of program recommendations fit for all growing conditions and situations. 


The Andersons provides high-quality products designed for foliar application in a variety of situations. Nutrients enter through the leaf tissue and travel throughout the plant, providing adequate nutrition to ensure the success of the growing crop. The application of a foliar fertilizer results in high-quality crops and a yield increase. See below for some offerings from The Andersons’ diverse product portfolio to address a variety of situations and needs.    

Super 72™ and Super 25B™

With the weather challenges this season, a portion of applied nitrogen was lost. To minimize yield loss due to lack of nitrogen, an application of foliar nitrogen will help supplement the needs of the growing crop. Slow release nitrogen solutions from The Andersons, Super 72 and Super 25B, can be found in the PureGrade® product line. Each features a percentage of nitrogen in the slow-release form, providing a safe foliar nitrogen source to the crop with little risk of burning plant tissue. Super 72 provides 72 percent of its nitrogen in the slow-release form, allowing for 25-30 days of nitrogen feeding. Super 25B provides a boron source to the crop while also providing 10-14 days of nitrogen feeding. The below study was conducted in Colorado in 2013. Super 72 was applied at a rate of 1.5 gal/ac at the V8 growth stage in corn. Results showed a 12.45 bu/ac advantage compared to the check.


90-98% of total potassium present in soils is in an insoluble form resistant to chemical breakdown. In this form, potassium breaks down and releases slowly, but in small quantities compared to the total needs of the crop. Solving for this issue, Korrect, a mild form of readily available potassium, can be applied to the crop through foliar application. There is a low risk of injury when applied to delicate leaf tissue. 

MicroNourish® and MicroNourish Fe

Micronutrients are equally as important as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium but needed in smaller amounts and can be just as limiting to yield if deficient. MicroNourish and MicroNourish Fe are designed to boost overall crop health by providing maintenance levels of sulfur, boron, and manganese. MicroNourish Fe also provides iron in situations where additional iron may be necessary. In the below photo, MicroNourish was applied in Indiana. A clear visual difference can be seen where MicroNourish was applied. 


Each micronutrient performs a specific role within the plant. MicroBlitz is a complete micronutrient blend featuring a fulvic acid to enhance nutrient delivery. The application of MicroBlitz takes a preventative approach to micronutrient deficiencies, giving the crop a little bit of both macronutrients and micronutrients. In Nebraska in 2016, MicroBlitz at 1qt/ac was applied alongside OverPass® SF at 2gal/ac on soybeans. The application was made at the R3 growth stage. The treatment yielded a 3.21bu/ac advantage compared to the check. 

Fulvic LQ™

The introduction of fulvic acid into a foliar fertilizer mix will protect the micronutrient, enhancing plant delivery and uptake. The formulation of Fulvic LQ contains a high concentration of the measurable fulvic fraction of humic substances, helping plants to better realize their full genetic potential. Fulvic LQ’s clearer color compared to other carbon substances enhances its user-friendliness and optimal compatibility. Fulvic LQ’s unique properties increase the bioavailability of the nutrients it accompanies in the tank and drastically increases absorption into the plant.


Gibberellins and cytokinins are plant hormones that regulate various developmental processes within the plant. These hormones are often called “plant growth enhancers” because of their role in helping the plant overcome stress. Phosfix is a 7-4-9 blend of macronutrients and plant growth enhancers that improve yield and profit by encouraging crop health and vigor. Phosfix contains trace amounts of humic acid, fulvic acid, and seaweed. The application of Phosfix improves plant tolerance to stress, aiding growth through adverse conditions. In 2018, Beck’s PFR trials tested Phosfix at the V4 growth stage on corn. A five-site average observed a 2.6 bu/ac advantage compared to the check. 

By using high yield management strategies, including foliar fertilizer applications, you can greatly influence the yield potential and ultimately the profitability of your crop.

For more information on how to choose the best foliar fertilizer for your situation, contact your local dealer or complete the form below.

  • Writer's pictureJerry Morris

MANAGEMENT By Dave Dyson, Agronomist

The rain just keeps on coming and delaying corn planting in the majority of the Corn Belt. As the 2019 planting date moves further back into May, you may be looking for ways to reduce wait times before planting. I fielded many calls this past week about changing nitrogen sources for pre-plant. As the options for pre-plant nitrogen are tightening up, I’ll be highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of different sources of nitrogen, as well as ways to overcome these challenges.

Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) is a widely used form of nitrogen in the Corn Belt, especially for pre-plant application. The importance of NH3 includes the fact that this source of nitrogen (N) is by far the most concentrated, with 82% N. It can be applied long before the crop is planted, including in the fall, when other N sources are susceptible to loss. Also, it normally is a less expensive source of N. The conversion of ammonia to ammonium creates a temporary alkaline condition in the ammonia retention zone, typically as an oval 2 to 5 inches in diameter around the application area. Since the pH will be elevated, waiting 5-7 days before planting will ensure the risk of seedling injury is reduced. The problem comes when no NH3 has been applied and the calendar is May 13th.   

I recommend putting the corn seed into the ground as soon as the soil conditions permit, but this may leave some of you with a major decision. You now have to choose to delay your nitrogen (NH3) application until sidedress time, V3-V6, or change your source of nitrogen for the 2019 crop season. If you decide to change your source of nitrogen, you will have to choose between urea and urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN). The main drawback with urea is with application. Urea is a dry material, so an additional application pass will have to be performed to apply this product. In addition, if applying urea with a spinner spreader you will have to “double spread” the product to increase the chances of an even application, doubling your application time. Soon after urea is applied to the soil, it changes to NH3 either chemically or by the enzyme urease, and then to NH4. If the urea is not incorporated, loss from volatilization can be substantial.

If you are considering changing your nitrogen source away from NH3, I would strongly encourage moving toward UAN. UAN is a liquid and can be applied at the same time as the herbicide, saving a pass and increasing the efficiency of your application. A big drawback with surface application of UAN is the risk that some of the urea portion of UAN will volatilize off. To ensure the UAN stays in the root zone and does not volatilize or leach away, I recommend using 1 gal/ac of UltraMate® Znwith your UAN application. UltraMate Zn is The Andersons’ liquid humic acid and will carbon chelate the UAN, preventing the nitrogen from leaving the cropping system, while also providing 1 qt/ac of Nulex® 15% Zinc to the corn crop.

In conclusion, UltraMate Zn is a carbon product that stabilizes nitrogen, reducing volatility and leaching while promoting soil microorganisms. By limiting the loss of nitrogen from the cropping system, the environment is protected and yield is increased.

RESEARCH By Jessica Stacy, Product Specialist

Last year, UltraMate LQ was tested with a surface application of UAN, figure 2, and the results speak for themselves. The below graph shows the average of a replicated 28% nitrogen study outside of Walton, IN. The replications that were treated with 1 gal/ac of UltraMate LQ yielded 10.63 bu/ac more than the replications that only had 28% applied.

When UltraMate LQ was applied sidedress at a rate of 1 gal/ac with 160 units of UAN, an average advantage of 7.95 bu/ac was observed compared to the replications treated with 160 units of UAN alone. This study was conducted in Southern Illinois and Iowa by Beck’s Practical Farm Research in 2017.

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