Winnipeg – As growers prepare for the 2012 growing season, they should think of more than just traditional nutrients – N, P and K – when considering their fertilizer strategy. With better and more efficient micronutrient technology now available, growers can see benefits of applying micronutrients to their crops, such as zinc in corn.
More than ever before, paying attention to zinc in corn is important because:
1. With high commodity prices and input costs, the opportunities and risks are great. Growers need to get the most from every input dollar. Micronutrients are needed in small amounts, but they are needed for optimized potential yield.
2. Insufficient access to just one nutrient can limit the plant’s overall performance. For example, if not enough zinc is available to the plant, it will not make efficient use of other nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur, and yield will be limited.
3. Today’s high-producing corn hybrids need more plant-available zinc than older hybrids needed. The better hybrids develop bigger root structures that can remove more nutrients from the soil, including zinc. Farmers across the Midwest are seeing yield response to zinc in areas that traditionally did not need zinc applications.
4. Fertilizer balance needs to stay intact. Often when a field needs more phosphorus, the field needs more zinc, too. Growers need to consider their fields’ zinc levels if they increase their NPK fertilizer rate to help boost yield or if fields test high in P.
5. Zinc deficiencies occur most often when young plants experience cold, wet soil conditions. As growers feel more confident planting earlier with modern seed technologies, early-season zinc availability grows in importance. Reduced tillage systems also induce cooler soils with more moisture, leading to higher zinc needs.
6. Early micronutrient availability is important. Many components of corn yield are established early in the crop’s development, so early access to vital elements, like zinc, is important to ensure maximum yield potential.
Growers across the U.S. are seeing benefits with Zinc DDP® from Wolf Trax they may not have seen before from a traditional micronutrient application. In a blend, traditional granular micronutrients often settle to the back and bottom of a dry fertilizer load, resulting in poor distribution across a field. DDP (Dry Dispersible Powder)
Micronutrients are specially formulated to coat (not encapsulate) every N, P, K and S fertilizer prill or granule in a blend for even distribution across the field. This blanket-like distribution helps ensure early zinc uptake, which is vital in getting the crop up and out of the ground.
In addition, the unique Dual Action Formulation of DDP Micronutrients ensures immediate plant availability as well as extended feeding. For growers who use liquid fertilizer applications, DDP Micronutrients also disperse in liquid nitrogen (UAN), as well as water and crop protection products for foliar applications.
To learn more about how Zinc DDP is in a whole different ballpark, go to www.wolftrax.com. While there, growers can sign up to win tickets to the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo., or to an NHL game in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Registration ends Feb. 1, 2012.