End-of-Season Corn Stalk Nitrate Challenge Postponed Until 2013
John Lory, Division of Plant Sciences, Commercial Agriculture Program
The end-of-season Corn Stalk Nitrate Challenge will not be held in 2012 because of the effects of the drought on the Missouri corn crop.
The Corn Stalk Nitrate Challenge is a joint program of the University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program, the Missouri Corn Growers Association and the Environmental Resources Coalition. For the past three years the program has paid the cost of end-of-season corn stalk nitrate samples submitted to the University of Missouri soil and Plant Testing Service in Columbia Missouri if farmers provided information about nitrogen fertilizer management on their field.
The corn stalk nitrate test can be used as an end-of-season analysis of nitrogen management in a corn crop. This test is taken at the end of the growing season close to black layer formation in the corn grain. The concentration of nitrate the corn stalk in a eight-inch segment cut six inches above the ground is correlated with the sufficiency of nitrogen fertilizer used during the growing season. The test can be used to determine if the fertilizer rate was low, marginal, optimal or excessive.
The extreme drought in Missouri has dramatically reduced yield potential on most corn fields. Under these extreme conditions the usefulness of the end-of-season stalk nitrate test for assessing nitrogen management is limited. Consequently, the Missouri end-of-season corn stalk nitrate challenge will not be held in 2012.
“We look forward to working with farmers and the Missouri Corn Growers Association in future years on the end-of-season Corn Stalk Nitrate Challenge” said John Lory, Nutrient Management Specialist at University of Missouri. “The program provides valuable information to farmers about nitrogen management on their field and provides an important assessment of nitrogen management across Missouri corn fields.”
If you have questions about the end-of-season Corn Stalk Nitrate Challenge contact John Lory (LoryJ@missouri.edu).