42nd Annual North Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conference

Day one of the North Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility meeting has wrapped up here in Des Moines, Iowa. There were a number of talks focused on potassium (K) and the challenges in evaluating K deficiency. 

Lara Moody of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) delivered a powerful message centered around TFI's 4Rs, which are aimed at growers applying the right fertilizer, at the right rate, during the right time window, and in the right place.

Our company mission lines up very well with the 4Rs in that we're working to develop technology that will help growers apply N during the best possible time window for corn. We also expect to have follow-on offerings that will tune application rate based on plant monitoring or other tools--speaking to the "right place." The graph below shows that the peak time for N uptake (steepest part of the curve) is during mid-summer, when corn is beyond knee high and before it tassles. Thus, applications of N near to, but in advance of this peak can help to avoid loss of N in runoff or to the air.

Credit: Iowa  State University Extension.