Current Minnesota research indicates that 2.5 – 3.0 gallons of starter is adequate. That’s not very much. But a plant only needs starter for a short period of time. A good starter should contain a high level of phosphate. 10-34-0 is a product that is easy to handle and has a lot of available phosphate.
Starter fertilizer has become the carrier for some non-essential materials. Our recommendation is to use 10-34-0 and forget the foo-foo juice.
Over ½ the phosphate needed by a plant is taken up during the grain-fill stage. It is important to have the soil supply an adequate amount of phosphate at this time. The majority of your phosphate fertilizer should be supplied by the dry products 11-52-0 or 18-46-0. These materials contain a lot more phosphate and cost less per ton than 10-34-0.
Remember that a pound of Nitrogen is a pound of Nitrogen when properly applied.
For a good source of Nitrogen for lower cost, use Anhydrous Ammonia. The current price is $575.00 per ton or $0.35 per pound of Nitrogen.
For good backups use UAN or Urea.
UAN —$289 per ton or $0.52 per pound of Nitrogen. Urea —$390.00 per ton or $0.42 per pound of Nitrogen.
Anhydrous ammonia, because it must be injected, has given more consistent results than broadcasting the other two products. Broadcasting coated Urea and injecting 28% have given good results. Always have a second plan in place if June is very wet.
Greater planting rates do not require more nitrogen
Micronutrients are not the silver bullet to higher crop yields
Zinc shortages are most likely to occur with very high pH soils and eroded soils