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First Roots Need Nutrients Fast | Technical Bulletin 071

Posted on February 15, 2016

The importance of row-placed starter fertilizer in corn becomes evident once we take a look at how corn root systems develop during the first few weeks of life.

Growers who study corn plant development know there are different stages of vegetative and reproductive growth.

Let’s take a look at root development during the very first stage of growth called “VE” or germination and emergence and why an adequate supply of easily available nutrients is needed at this time. 

The first roots to emerge from the seed are called the radicle and lateral seminal roots. Usually, these are lumped together into what’s called the seminal or primary root system. These are the first functioning roots and begin taking up nutrients even before the corn spikes through the soil. They continue to function throughout the plant’s life, but are most important during the first few weeks while the nodal roots are developing.
 

A PureGrade® Liquid Starter should be placed within the early growth zone of the Primary Root System.

It is easy to place into the seed furrow with available equipment.
 


Only small amounts of fertilizer nutrients are needed during the very early stages of growth, but the root system is small and doesn’t touch very much soil or nutrients. In addition, cool soil conditions may slow root development. This can be offset by placing a concentrated band of nutrients in the immediate vicinity of the developing seminal root system. The roots will intercept the band of fertilizer and proliferate in and near the band after contact. Nutrients must be placed where they will be intercepted by the roots because roots are not attracted to fertilizer.

This early stage is very important to the corn plant. This is the time when all the different plant parts are being initiated. The final size of leaves, ears and other parts depends to a large extent on having an adequate supply of nutrients available at the first stages of growth.
 

PureGrade fertilizers have the perfect set of characteristics to match the nutrient needs during the early stages of corn growth.


Nutrient availability.
The nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are ready for root uptake as soon as the seminal root system is ready to absorb nutrients.

PureGrade fertilizers are high in orthophosphate.
Orthophosphate is the form of phosphorus that plants use. Regardless of the weather and variable soil temperatures, the orthophosphate in PureGrade is ready to work when root contact occurs.

PureGrade fertilizers can be easily banded into the seed furrow where they will be in close proximity to the developing seminal root system.
This leads to faster and more uniform crop growth earlier in the growing season.

PureGrade fertilizers are a pure solutions.
Every spoonful has the same NPK analysis. Every linear foot of row gets the same ratio and amount of nutrients.

PureGrade fertilizers have a low salt index and are virtually non-corrosive.
These benefits offer increased seed safety and reduce corrosion on expensive planter parts.

Successful corn growth depends upon many factors. Some can be controlled and others can’t. The placement, the amount and the quality of the fertilizer are all easily controlled with the right fertilizer placement equipment and the right fertilizers. PureGrade starter fertilizers are the best choice for maximizing early nutrient uptake in corn.
 

Download Technical Bulletin 071

To download this technical bulletin, click here.


For more information on these or any of our other PureGrade products, click here.

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