Sep 30, 2014
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Five Yield-Robbing Culprits and Remedies

June 12, 2014
By: Jo Windmann, Web Producer

Know your deficiency and how to treat it

Nutrient deficiencies not only rob yield potential but it signifies a possible problem with overall soil health. Deficiencies can be avoided through pinpointing the problem, soil testing and proper application of necessary nutrients.

Below are the five most common nutrient deficiency symptoms in corn and how to correct the problem:

Nitrogen (N) deficient corn

nitrogen deficient corn

Corn suffering from nitrogen deficiency generally has a V-shaped yellow coloration, which progresses from the leaf end to the leaf collar and moves from the lower to upper leaves.


Common Causes: Treatment:
Under-application of N fertilizer Appropriate fertilizer N application
Underestimation of N release in manure Analyze manure for N content
Leaching of nitrate due to rainfall or irrigation Apply level appropriate for soil
Loss of N as a gas after water ponding or in compacted sites Install drainage tiles in heavier soils and/or minimize field compaction
Onset of dryer weather Irrigate if possible

Phosphorous (P) deficient corn

phosphorus deficient corn

Phosphorous deficient corn is recognizable by the purple coloration on the lower leaves.


Common Causes: Treatment:
Under-application of P fertilizer needs Apply fertilizer P as a ‘starter’ application
Cooler/wetter weather Avoid earliest planting dates (warmer weather can correct symptoms)
Planted P inefficient hybrids or Inherited tendency of some hybrids Plant P efficient hybrids

Potassium (K) deficient corn

potassium deficient corn

Yellow and brown coloration of leaf margins, which occur on lower leaves first and progress to upper leaves are symptoms of potassium deficient corn.


Common Causes: Treatment:
Under-application of K fertilizer Apply appropriate fertilizer K rate
Cooler/wetter weather Avoid earliest planting dates (warmer weather can correct symptoms)
Planted K inefficient hybrids Plant K efficient hybrids

Sulfur (S) deficient corn

sulfur deficient corn

Sulfur deficiency is recognizable by the yellow, striped pattern on corn leaves or interveinal chlorosis pattern. This is generally found in younger leaves.


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RELATED TOPICS: Corn, Crops, Inputs, Fertilizer

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