Why Foliar Nitrogen Applications Are A Must

Everything we do at Concept AgriTek is done with the end goal of increasing yield and return on investment. One of the ways we achieve increased yield is through foliar nitrogen applications.

This week, Daniel Hensley shares why he believes foliar nitrogen applications are a must, as well as tips for getting the application right.

“Foliar feeding nitrogen gives us an opportunity to spoon feed that nutrient to the plant,” Hensley said. “If we have big rains like we’ve had in some parts of the country where we’ve been fairly wet, if we got our nitrogen out fairly early, we’ve leached a lot of that, and when we foliar feed, it gives us an opportunity to keep the nitrogen fed to that plant.”

Use caution when foliar feeding nitrogen

It will be hard to feed a solution of nitrogen fertilizer (urea and ammonium nitrate) UAN 32% or 28%, without burning your crop.

“If we’re going to do nitrogen foliar, we have to use something that’s suitable for that, like our N25B,” Hensley said.  Concept-N25B is a slow-release nitrogen, with boron, specifically formulated to safely foliar feed plants for weeks. Stress-Tek technology has been added to increase stress tolerance of the plant.

The proper application rate for Concept-N25B is 0.5-2 gallons per acre.

Sprayer-.mov.00_00_02_23.Still001 Why Foliar Nitrogen Applications Are A Must

Addressing common pitfalls

A common mistake Hensley sees farmers make when applying foliar nitrogen is an improper balance between nitrogen and potassium.

“When that happens, our nitrogen in the plant is not nearly as efficient because the nitrogen is supposed to spur vegetative growth, but we’re going to have to have the potassium in there to help with the reproductive fruiting of the plants. If you get too much nitrogen and not enough potassium, oftentimes the plant can’t synthesize all the nitrogen.”

Another common mistake, Hensley said, is improper timing of the application. Many farmers think they can apply nitrogen early and check it off their list. However, early rains and cold weather can render that early application ineffective. Foliar applications allow the plant to continue to receive vital nutrients throughout the growing season.

“In reality, that crop could really use a shot in the arm (later in the growing season),” Hensley said.

Hit the field with a winning strategy

For maximum effectiveness, Concept AgriTek agronomists recommend a fertilizer with a good nitrogen to potassium ratio to help in protein synthesis.

“One in particular is Total 10, which uses slow-release nitrogen and potassium acetate, which is very unique,” Hensley said. The result is a top-of-the-line 10-0-10 foliar fertilizer, combined with Stress-Tek, to help mitigate environmental stresses.

There are various strategies for applying foliar nitrogen. Some farmers use a spray rig applicator, while others apply it using an airplane or a helicopter.

In the next installment of the Concept AgriTek blog, we will cover the importance of side dressing fertilizer applications as a means of boosting micronutrients.