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Organic Corn

A recent increase in demand for organic products has led to an increase in the number of producers of organic corn in the United States. The greatest number of organic corn producers are located in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and New York. Organic corn is produced on 3.2 million acres across the nation. Organic corn differs from conventionally grown corn because of the national standards set by the USDA for a food product to be labeled “organic.” Organic corn must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. The pesticides and fertilizers applied to organic corn must be certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

Similar to conventional corn, the most common nutrient deficiencies are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. To reach maturity and maximize yield, organic corn requires various nutrients throughout the growing season. The Andersons offers a selection of OMRI certified products perfectly suited for organic corn production.

Use the images below to diagnose nutrient deficiencies in your organic corn fields.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nitrogen
Nitrogen is mobile in the plant. Symptoms will appear as chlorosis first on lower leaves.
Phosphorous
Phosphorus is mobile in the plant. Symptoms will appear as purpling in a young corn plant first on lower leaves. Some hybrids appear purple at the seedling stage so a tissue test is essential for proper diagnosis.
Potassium
Potassium is mobile within the plant, causing deficiency symptoms to appear first in older leaves. Leaf symptoms appear as yellowing to necrosis on the outer edge of leaves.
Sulfur
Sulfur is immobile in the plant. Symptoms of interveinal yellowing and leaf striping will appear on the younger leaves. Plants will appear stunted and light green in appearance. Normally will see sulfur deficiencies on sandy soils
Zinc
Zinc is immobile in the plant. Symptoms of white interveinal striping while midribs stay green and shortened internodes. Symptoms will appear on the younger leaves. Conditions that favor zinc deficient plants high phosphorus and pH soils, root limiting conditions.
Boron
Boron improves seed set under stressful conditions and is an important component of cell walls. Symptoms will appear as brittle leaves and small dead spots.

Additional Resources

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