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Agronomy Update

Posted on May 13, 2022

The Andersons Agronomy Update: July 2018

When building an effective foliar program, there are different objectives to target throughout the season: 1) encourage plant health, 2) defeat nutrient deficiencies, and 3) feed the plant to harvest. Encouraging plant health focuses on providing nutrients during early vegetative growth and building the factory that will produce the grain during critical growth stages. Defeating deficiencies targets the mid-season growth spurt that occurs after V6 by delivering essential nutrients. Finally, feeding the plant focuses on overcoming late-season stress to avoid kernel abortion occurring through R4.

Plant Health

The corn plant goes through numerous stressful periods during the first six weeks after emergence. Once a corn plant emerges from the soil, it will grow one leaf stage per week. Sometimes the internodes will expand faster or slower than normal, depending on the growing conditions, so never gauge how “old” a corn plant is by the height. Instead, always count the collars or V stages of the corn, Figure 1. By V6 the corn plant will have determined the maximum rows of kernels that will be around the cob. In order to reduce stress during this critical growth stage, apply Phosfix® at a rate of 1pt/ac at the V4 to V6 growth stage. Phosfix has a 7-4-9 analysis with micronutrients and plant hormones. Phosfix contains cytokinins, gibberellic acid, and auxins. These plant hormones help with cell division, cell elongation, and cell differentiation, respectively. It contains phosphite to reduce stress, prevent disease, and increase crop yield.

Figure 1: This picture shows the different collars or V stages of the corn.

Defeat Deficiencies

Mid-season stress for corn can reduce the length of the ear and hinder pollination. During the late ear/grain development stage, boron and molybdenum are in great demand. The Andersons offers two products with a healthy dose of boron, Over Pass® 22-0-2 and Eezy® Moly-B.  Over Pass 22-0-2 has 25% slow release nitrogen which helps prevent tissue damage, while providing nitrogen during grain development. In addition to boron, Eezy-Moly B contains molybdenum which is essential for nitrogen use efficiency within the plant. Over Pass 22-0-2 and Eezy Moly-B can both be applied via plane at VT, paired with a fungicide application.

Feed the Plant

Late-season application of foliar fertilizer helps to directly influence the size and weight of the harvestable seed. The best time for increasing soybean yields is the R3 stage when the newly developed seed pod is 1/4-inch-long on the 4th node from the top. Consider applying Over Pass 10-2-10 at 1 gal/ac at the R3 stage of soybeans. The nitrogen in Over Pass 10-2-10 is 25% slow release which allows it to be applied on flowering plants without burning the tissue or hurting the blooms. The micronutrients boron and manganese are heavily used during the reproductive stage. Keep in mind that glyphosate can inhibit the plant’s uptake of manganese during this critical time. 

There are three decisive periods during a crop’s life where an application of a foliar fertilizer can make the difference between a marginal and an exceptional crop. Contact your local sales representative at The Andersons for more information about the right product at the right stage for your operation.


A fall-applied fertilizer program, followed by the application of a high-quality, low-salt starter at planting, will reach 90% of the crop’s maximum potential. In order to reach 100% of the crop’s potential, a season-long approach to fertilization is essential. To view additional 2021 research results with The Andersons’ products, view our newly-released 2021 Research Guide.  

Over the course of 53 trials with Phosfix in corn and soybeans, a positive yield advantage was observed 85% of the time over the untreated control. The above graph is a compilation of all foliar corn and soybean trials, involving Phosfix from years 2014-2021. Test locations include: OH, MI, NE, IN, CO, KY, and IL.

The above trial was conducted in Ohio in 2021. Over Pass 22-0-2 was applied at the VT growth stage at the rate of 1gal/acre. At harvest, the treatment yielded a 21 bu/acre advantage compared to the untreated check.

The above trial was conducted in Ohio in 2021. Over Pass 10-2-10 was applied at the R3 growth stage at a rate of 2gal/acre. At harvest, the treatment yielded a 2.2 bu/acre advantage compared to the untreated check.

For additional information on our foliar products, check out these resources:


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©2022 The Andersons, Inc. All rights reserved. Phosfix and OverPass are registered trademarks of The Andersons, Inc. Eezy is a trademark of The Andersons, Inc.

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