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Enhancing Continuous-Corn Production in Conservation Tillage with Starter Fluid Fertilizer Combinations and Placement

Study author(s): Jeff Vetsch, Daniel Kaiser, Gyles Randall, University of Minnesota
Years of study: 2010 – 2013
Location(s): Waseca MN, Rochester MN

Important: for the complete report, including all tables and figures, please download using the link(s) to the right.


The response of corn to fluid starter fertilizer was inconsistent in this study. Starter fertilizers containing N, P and S applied as UAN, APP and ATS generally increased early growth while reducing plant variability of corn grown following corn in reduced tillage. Applying APP, UAN and ATS either independently or in combination sometimes reduced grain moisture at harvest. Grain yields were increased by ATS application (likely a sulfur response) in 2 of 4 years and for the 4-year average at Waseca (1 of 4 years at Rochester). These data suggest yield responses to fluid starter fertilizer may be more likely on poorly drained glacial till soils in south-central MN, compared with the well drained loess soils of southeast MN.

Although only a few positive corn grain yield responses were found in this study, consistent responses in early growth, reduced grain moisture at harvest and reduced plant to plant variability were observed, especially on the poorly drained glacial till soil at Waseca. Collectively these responses should increase yield potential of corn after corn grown in high residue environments and help to narrow the yield gap between corn after corn and corn after soybean.

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