Addressing mid-season fertility issues
For smaller corn, ammonium sulfate could be broadcast over the crop. A rate of 100 lb ammonium sulfate/A will supply 24 lb S/A. Ammonium sulfate will cause some burning but the benefit will usually outweigh any injury effects.
Either way, applying 15-25 lb S/A would be a typical rate. Remember that soil testing for S is not very reliable. Plant tissue testing is a better tool for diagnosing S deficiency.
Plant analysis is a valuable tool for monitoring crop nutrition and diagnosing suspected plant nutrient deficiency problems. There are two ways to use plant analysis. The first method is to compare the analysis of the plant tissue with standard tables of interpretive values. Since the table values are for specific plant parts sampled at a specific stage of growth, it is critical that sampling guidelines be strictly followed. Information on sampling crops and plant analysis interpretation levels are available on the Penn State Agricultural Analytical Services Lab web site.
When a problem is observed, analysis of plants from the problem area and a nearby normal area, along with soil tests from both areas, can be very useful in diagnosing nutritional problems and determining if they are related to soil nutrient deficiency or some other soil or plant factor affecting nutrient uptake. The same plant part should be sampled in both the good and bad areas to make valid comparisons.
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