Row Starter Trials

Jun 03, 2019

Megan Hasenour | Marketing Communications Manager

To get crops off to a strong start, you need to provide adequate nutrition from day one. A growing body of research demonstrates that using a starter fertilizer is the best way to do that.

Here are two videos our agronomist captured to show the differences in in-furrow row-starters and fungicide in-furrow.

Here is how you can lead future growth from a strong agronomic foundation on your operation:

Faster, more uniform emergence is common with in-furrow starter fertilizer use because seeds have immediate access to essential macro and micronutrients. Faster germination and uniform emergence leads to a better crop stand, which is key to helping maximize yield potential.

Better root development more likely occur with adequate early nutrition. Field observations have shown that corn planted with a balanced starter fertilizer had visually bigger roots after just 15 days and noticeably more root mass. A starter fertilizer can also help to overcome slow root growth in cool soils.

The benefits of bigger, more extensive root growth can carry through the season to improve stalk strength potential and reduce lodging.

Balanced nutrition is as important for plants as it is for humans. Balanced starter fertilizers can help deliver the right amount of key macro and micronutrients, making them immediately available to seedlings. Along with N, P and K, sulfur is needed for chlorophyll production and protein formation. The most common micronutrients in starter fertilizers are zinc for leaf growth and root development; manganese for chlorophyll production and nitrogen utilization; and boron for proper cell division, carbohydrate use and water utilization.

Balanced nutrition also helps increase a young plant’s ability to deal with stress from environmental and pest pressures. The stronger the seedling, the better the chance for a strong crop.

Maximizing yield potential requires minimizing plant stress. But today’s high-population plant environments create additional stress for young plants. Research shows that 1,000 corn plants produce 5 to 7 bushels of corn. The early-season loss of just a few plants per 1,000 can add up to significant per-acre lost yield potential. Proper early nutrition is essential to maximizing yield potential.