Zinc Zone: More Zinc Fertilizer Tips for CornBy Wolf Trax
Welcome to the Zinc Zone. While here, you’ll get sound agronomic advice and learn about innovative zinc fertilizer for corn.
1 – The Value of Zinc to Your Corn Crop
Paul Reising, senior product manager for Wolf Trax fertilizer coatings at Compass Minerals, talks about why you need to be proactive and avoid a zinc deficiency in corn this spring.
If you already include a zinc source in a liquid starter fertilizer, that is a good step toward providing early-season zinc. Recent independent field trials suggest, however, that most liquid starters do not provide enough zinc for all season in fields with a known deficiency. For more information on this topic, read the article, “Does Your Liquid Starter Fertilizer for Corn Provide Enough Zinc?”
2 – Which Corn Fields Need Zinc Fertilizer
While not all fields require zinc, here are some guidelines on whether your farming practices and soils might benefit from a zinc fertilizer application:
- Planting earlier, especially into cool and wet soils means immobile nutrients, like zinc, can be less available.
- Coarse textured soils tend to limit zinc uptake.
- High pH soils tend to limit zinc uptake, too.
- Today’s high-performance corn genetics remove up to 27% MORE ZINC than non-rootworm resistant hybrids.
- High yields mean high nutrient removal. Brian Hefty with Ag PhD discusses the economics of replenishing nutrients in this recent article.
If any of these factors apply to your farm, you may want to think about using zinc fertilizer for corn this spring.
Do you farm in an area where zinc deficiencies haven’t been common in the past? Still include zinc analysis in your soil tests. Soil test summaries provided by the International Plant Nutrition Institute for 2015 show how widespread zinc deficiencies were across many corn-growing states.
Uncorrected soil deficiencies are causing in-season zinc deficiencies in corn. In 2016, Winfield United analyzed more than 17,500 corn tissue samples in its NutriSolutions 360 program. Seventy-two percent of those tissue samples were low in zinc.
3 – The Right Time to Apply Zinc
If your corn field needs a zinc fertilizer application, when is the best time to apply? Here’s what Paul Reising had to say.
Q: In today’s commodity price environment, would waiting to see if a zinc deficiency comes up in-season be a better decision for farmers?
A: That approach is not ideal. Having to apply a rescue treatment of zinc in-season means you’ve already lost yield. Plus foliar applications can be expensive.
Q: If you don’t recommend a farmer wait for foliar zinc applications, what is the best route for fertilizer programs?
A: Being proactive with a pre-plant soil application is the right approach because you address deficiencies before they impact your crop.
For more agronomic information on the importance of feeding corn plants the zinc they need as early as possible, watch this video from RFD TV’s Rural America Live.
4 – The Right Zinc Fertilizer Tool
Not all zinc fertilizer products are equal. Listen in to Paul Reising as he talks about the agronomic and economic impacts of choosing the right zinc fertilizer for corn. Find out why Wolf Trax Zinc DDP with EvenCoat™ Technology is the right tool for the job.
Learn more about EvenCoat Technology and its benefits to crops here.
Tweet us your questions at @WolfTraxInc.
 University of Illinois