Top up nitrogen before 5-leaf stage

Growers may have good reasons for a post emergence top up of nitrogen this year. For example, maybe they couldn’t get the supply they wanted at seeding time. Or maybe they cut back rates at seeding because of wet soil conditions with a plan to top up later if conditions improve and a good stand emerges.

If planning a top up fertilizer application, nitrogen must be available before the 5-leaf stage of the crop to provide the largest yield benefit.

With very nitrogen deficient soils, growers will want to apply earlier than the 5-leaf stage to make first stems and flower clusters more productive. This is especially important when seeding is delayed. Later applications will stimulate more branching, which will delay maturity.

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