Indiana farmers are looking for windows to get in their corn fields and attack any weed issues they have, and many are evaluating when and how much to feed that crop. DuPont Pioneer Encirca Services lead TC Huffman says the levels of nitrogen needed to get corn through the season depends on where and when it was planted, among other factors.
“You’ve got anywhere from southern Indiana pretty good size corn that’s above knee-high or taller to around my house, and I’m looking at a field right now that’s two-leaf stage and it’s barely out of the ground. So, we’ve got a big spread there from the stuff that got planted April to the stuff that got planted in June, and now we’re going back in a lot of cases and making decisions on how much nitrogen to put on to be right for the crop, but also right for our environment, that we’re not over-applying. But we also don’t want to under-apply and cost ourselves yield.”
He says each season there should be assessments about nitrogen amounts, timing and placement for best ROI.
“Every year is a little bit different,” Huffman said. “And nitrogen is a much more unstable nutrient compared to say phosphate and potash that are more stable in the soil. You can apply them a year or so in advance and they’ll stay there in most cases unless you’re talking about sands, and be available for future crops. Nitrogen is more of a put it on for this year’s crop to make this year the best that it can be, and then whatever we put on this year will not be around for future crops. So, we have to look at that in more detail.”
There are many questions about the effect of all the rain on eventual corn yields. Huffman encourages you to get accurate answers to those questions and make appropriate adjustments to the plan formulated earlier this year.