Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Corn Nutrient Problems

Posted by romeethredge on May 10, 2013

We have seen more corn nutrient problems than usual. There’s been Phosphorus deficiency, especially where pop up fertilizer wasn’t used. It is harder for the plants to take up in cool conditions. Also there’s been some Magnesium deficiency, with striped leaves and it’s sometimes a temporary striping condition when we get fast growth. Magnesium is more available to plants at higher pH’s. A plant tissue analysis is often needed to figure out these problems.

Then corn also needs Zinc, and we’ve seen a little Zinc deficiency in some fields. We don’t need much Zinc due to the fact that the plant doesn’t need much and because we may grow peanuts in the same field next year and they are sensitive to too much Zinc. Often growers can use a micronutrient pack in preplant fertilizer to suppply enough of the micronutrients. Zinc is more available to plants at lower pH levels. So overliming may actually cause Zn problems in corn.  I saw a case this week where they have new ground where they burned old trees and brush and they limed the field well and where these burn piles were, the Zinc deficiency problem is worse. We often get higher pH’s in ashy burn pile areas. A foliar spray or 2 of Zinc will often rectify the problem.

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