by Kirk Moyer, Regional Sales Agronomist (MI, IN)
Corn’s corn! Or is it? Producing seed corn is a little more difficult than one would think. In order to create a hybrid corn variety, seed corn uses two parents, a male and a female, called inbreds to produce a cross to achieve a specific hybrid. These inbreds are by nature weak in genetic makeup. They are less vigorous, slow in germination and difficult to achieve uniform emergence. After all, they are inbreds!
The challenge has always been how do you establish a desired plant stand with great uniformity on inbred parents that are weak and suffer in difficult soil and weather conditions? It’s no different than hybrid corn. Timely fertilization is one of the keys to producing a healthy high yielding field. This is where QLF Agronomy and its Liquid Carbon-Based Fertilizers (L-CBF) can differentiate itself from other salt-based fertilizers on seed corn production.
Back in the day, growers were applying upwards of 280 pounds of fertilizer up front in the hopes that it would hang around all season. Also, early in-furrow application consisted of what growers called “hot starter.” This was usually a band of Urea Ammnonium Nitrate (UAN) or Ammonium Polly Phosphate (APP) directly on top of the seed and you crossed your fingers it didn’t hurt the seed. Nowadays, most growers are set up with an in-furrow system along with their 2×2 applications and some type of post application equipment to spoon feed their crops nutritional needs. Today there are better options than what the industry has been offering. QLF Agronomy’s Starter L-CBF 7-21-3 MKP used in furrow at 3 to 5 gallons provides a seed-safe band of of available plant nutrients and biologically friendly ingredients to feed the zone. Another plus of using 7-21-3 MKP is the compatibility of “ride along” products or as we call “Add On’s”. Many of our customers may choose to build more features into their L-CBF program to add on nutritional products like our CornSpike (dual chelate Zinc micronutrient blend) or Kelpak (natural seaweed extract).
Incorporating L-CBF BOOST 4-0-3-2S at a 10-20% inclusion is another great way to help with nutritional needs at planting buffering out harsh characteristics of those concentrated salt “hot starter” ingredients and improving efficiencies with Urea Ammonium Nitrate (UAN 32%) and Ammonium Poly Phosphate (10-34-0) in planter band (2×2, 2x2x2) applications. BOOST at planting will aid in keeping that nitrogen and phosphorus in the band longer in a safe effective zone where the corn plant’s roots can find it, as well as minimizing volitization and leaching. BOOST is versatile in post-application trips. With our inclusion rates, you can add BOOST in a lay-by UAN application. An example is the Y-Drop technology and placement, another proven application utilizing BOOST benefits with your UAN $. Our research confirms what our customers experience, better NUE (Nitrogen Use Efficiency) on every pound of nitrogen you purchase and apply per bushel removed.
Fertigation and Foliar Feeding
For those with irrigation, 3-4 gallons of BOOST injected with your nitrogen through pivots is a great way to kick start, feed, and build biology. Not only are we feeding our crop, but we are also managing microbial activities. Taking a carbon-based approach works. In addition to managing your nitrogen with BOOST through irrigation perhaps you also want to consider a gentle addition of a foliar nitrogen pass. QLF Agronomy’s L-CBF Amino 15-0-1 is a safe and effective source of foliar nitrogen derived from quality urea and an L-Amino Acid form of nitrogen. Amino Acid forms of nitrogen require less water and energy to make protein making them very efficient. Packaged in an liquid carbon-based form you can safely apply 3-6 gallons of Amino15 multiple passes. This will keep the plants healthy and strong during the detasseling period and extra energy through reproductive stages.
Seed corn production is a vital part of our industry and just like hybrid corn, L-CBF 7-21-3 MKP and BOOST can also provide those inbreds with better healthy starts. Customizing foliar feeding and fertigation practices with L-CBF products provides your seed corn production a safer and more efficient system, while taking a path toward improving soil health. The ultimate Goal is healthier and stronger plants that will reproduce the ultimate link in seed corn production, making more quality seed. QLF Agronomy can help deliver those results.