If you’re somewhat tired of hearing the term “optimal fertility,” raise your hand. Maybe that’s not fair, because optimal fertility is really necessary for modern corn genetics to reach their full yield potential. But what does it really mean? As Dr. Fred Below, of the University of Illinois, explains in this Corn School episode, optimal fertility isn’t just about big pounds per acre, it’s the right levels of nutrients, in the proper soil zone at the right time of year AND it takes into account the long-term health and nutrient levels of the soil.
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As Dr. Below explains, while nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and zinc are all critical to corn yield, not all nutrients are required at the same time, as they each play a role in different crop functions. This is why placement of fertilizer — not just total pounds per acre — and soil health deep into the soil profile is so important.
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