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The Value of Phosphorus in Starter

October 21, 2011
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Director of Content Development, Machinery Pete

Starter fertilizer is one tool farmers use to help get their corn crop off to a strong start.

"When we talk about starter, we refer to three main components: phosphorus, nitrogen and zinc," explains Missy Bauer, Farm Journal associate field agronomist. "Your soil test may indicate you have enough phosphorus, but it isn’t always available to the plant."
To identify how your crop would respond to starter, Bauer recommends doing your own trials. She shares an example in Episode 3 of "Corn College TV."
Bauer suggests looking at the color and height of the corn to evaluate the starter response early in the season.
"A purple discoloration can indicate phosphorus deficiency. Compare the plants and look at the growth response," she says.
Learn more in this episode of "Corn College TV."

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