Will this be one of those years when managing around weather to get as many acres planted is challenging? Kevin Carlson, Federated's agronomy sales manager, posed the question, and offered these thoughts in reply:
I don’t know right now if it’s one of those years, but you need to think about what really has to be done to put the crop in the ground, and what could wait if it would speed up planting in a spring where weather is a problem?
Phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) are two nutrients that should be applied at or before planting time and incorporated into the ground. It’s hard to manage P and K any other way.
Nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S), on the other hand, are more flexible. They can be top or side dressed on corn. You can plant corn first and soon after apply some or all of the N and S the corn crop needs – about 2 lbs. of N per day, up to V-8 corn (which occurs about 40 days after planting). Applying 50-80 pounds of N early in the spring will get the corn to the side/top dress season (V-8). Adding 25-50% of the S needs at the same time would also be a good choice. Then you can apply the balance of N and S later, if there is more to apply.
The point is that if it’s a challenging planting season, all of the N and S can go on after corn planting is done (some right after planting and the balance 30-50 days later, depending on application equipment). I also recommend stabilizing the N with products such as Factor® to protect against N loss on the soil surface due to volatilization.
Carlson concluded: It’s something to think about as we wait for the planting season to get started (and see what weather we will have to manage around). And talk to your Federated Agronomist to help address your challenges.