Off To a Strong Start

Mar 27, 2020
Megan Hasenour | Marketing Communication 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.

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. Not only are the Macro Nutrients important in the row starter so are the Micro Nutrients. For instance,  zinc is essential for production of the carbohydrates, proteins and chlorophyll that drive grain production. In fact, plant growth and development stops when specific zinc-dependent enzymes aren’t available. It’s easy to see why an in-furrow zinc application is a smart investment to promote early-season plant health and to protect yield potential. Making sure you have strong 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.
Another great addition to In-furrow starter mixes are the Ascend brands. Ascend SL, Ascend WSG and the newest additional Ascend Pro plant growth regulators can help improve root growth and provide better early season vigor by delivering three PGRs in an enhanced, one-of-a-kind formulation. These formulations were specifically designed to provide more consistent performance across all environmental conditions.
  • Contains 3 plant growth regulators (PGRs) cytokinin, gibberellic acid and indolebutyric acid to help support cell division, leaf expansion and root formation.
  • Enhanced formulation contains a proprietary amino acid derivative to support optimized performance across conditions, to help ease weather forecasting guesswork and worry.
  • Researched across 153 test sites over 4 years, to provide consistent performance independent of weather conditions.

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 lead 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.

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.