Grower: Dean Isaac
Crop: Silage Corn
We applied 24 oz of Nutrient Plus per acre at the time of planting, using the in-furrow system the grower had on his planter. Nutrient Plus was added to the starter fertilizer that was being applied. The starter fertilizer contained phosphate, zinc, and other micronutrients. Nutrient Plus was only applied at planting.
We watched the plants throughout the growing season. During the season, we didn’t see much of a difference between the treated and untreated corn. We only began to see the benefit of Nutrient Plus late in the summer when we started to see plant stress from the heat and insect pressure.
Spider mites are a big problem for us here in the west and they can cause entire fields to be lost. Most growers are using miticides early to help prevent the harmful effects of spider mites. These chemicals cost the growers thousands of dollars to apply. Within the trial, the whole field was treated for spider mites. This was due to the fact that we ran the miticide through the pivot. So it would have been very difficult to keep the treated area from receiving the miticide. Even though the miticide was applied to the field, we saw significant damage from spider mites in the areas that were not treated with Nutrient Plus. The treated area also showed signs of damage from the spider mites, but it was considerably less.
As corn matures and starts to lose the nutrients that it needed to create an ear, it will begin to metabolize the bottom leaves to get those nutrients. Within the NP treated area, we noticed that the corn was able to keep the bottom leaves late into the season. I believe this was a result of Nutrient Plus being able to make the nutrients that were applied (and those that are in the soil) more available to the plant through the mineralization process.
With the application of Nutrient Plus we were able to create a healthier plant that was able to handle the stress that comes throughout the year. With reduced stress on the plant, we were able to increase the yield by 1.4 ton over the non-treated area.