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Rapid maize growth requires roots and energy!

12 June 2021

A crop of maize can produce up to 50 t/ha of fresh weight in just 4 months! For this amount of growth to happen, over such a short timeframe, there needs to be a healthy, extensive root system for nutrient uptake right from the start.

Phosphate (P) is a very important nutrient, key for growing the root system the crop requires to sustain the rapid growth, as well as being part of the transfer of energy within the plant. Weather plays a role in the availability of P. If soils are cold and wet when the maize is planted then P in the soil will have a very low level of availability, this is why placing some at drilling helps by providing it in immediately available forms. However cold conditions at drilling aren’t the only weather-related issue for maize. In dry soils, as we’ve had recently, nutrient availability in general decreases. This will restrict root growth and therefore the ability to support the crop later in the season.

So how do we get around this? A foliar application of phosphate is the best way to overcome these early deficiencies and give the crop a boost in energy levels. Both of these will help the crop develop a better root system to support later growth. YaraVita Maize Boost contains foliar phosphate together with useful amounts of zinc, magnesium and potash. Applying it at the 4-6 leaf stage is effective for fast, efficient uptake through the leaf.

Later on in the season, once the crop has reached 1-1.2m high, maize can be given a further boost by applying YaraVita Safe-N 300. This helps maximise efficient leaf canopy development.

In recent trials, the application of YaraVita Maize Boost followed by YaraVita Safe-N 300 gave an extra 10% in dry matter yield.

Read more about maize foliar nutrition

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