Replenish Nitrogen Lost in Wet Soils Through Foliar Application

Nitamin® Fertilizer Offers Growers Enhanced Performance When Compared to Urea

Replenish Nitrogen Lost in Wet Soils Through Foliar Application

July 21, 2011

This year has seen record planting for many broad acre crops. For many, this year has also brought challenging weather, especially in the corn-belt. Many areas have experienced much higher than normal rainfall, not just during planting but throughout the growing season. Unfortunately, excessive rainfall increases the potential for nitrogen loss.

According to the University of Missouri’s Crop Nitrogen Watch, precipitation from May 1 - July 4 has exceeded 12 inches in much of the corn-belt. In these areas, nitrogen deficiency is predicted for fields that received all of the nitrogen preplant. Visit to link directly to the Crop Nitrogen Watch.

There are two primary ways that nitrogen can be lost in wet soils: leaching and denitrification. Leaching occurs when nitrate N is moved below the rooting zone by water passing through the profile. Denitrification occurs when soils are saturated, and is the main loss mechanism in poorly drained soils.

Nitrogen deficiency in corn is relatively easy to diagnose. Starting at the bottom of the plant and progressing upward, leaves will begin to turn yellow starting at the tip. As the deficiency progresses, the yellow area will spread from the tip to the stalk and from the center of the leaf to the edge forming a characteristic V shape. The number of leaves showing these symptoms on the plant indicates the severity of the deficiency.

Research has demonstrated that nitrogen applied to the leaf can be quickly taken up through foliar absorption. When producers are worried about N loss, foliar N fertilizers mixed with other crop protection chemicals can aid in increasing yield potential under N stress conditions.

Nitamin® 30-0-0 fertilizer is a foliar fertilizer of choice for replenishing N because it does not crystallize as quickly and has a lower burn potential when compared to liquid urea. Corn research conducted by land grant universities across the corn-belt showed an average yield increase of 7 bushels per acre as a result of applying Nitamin® fertilizer at tasseling. Even higher yield increases were observed when the corn was under severe nitrogen stress.

For more information about Nitamin® fertilizer, contact Bob Beck, Koch Agronomic Services row crops sales manager, at 316-828-6727 or