Meet Pete Jahr, a grower in St. Ansgar, Iowa. He has been farming, primarily corn, for more than 20 years. Pete is always exploring new technology to try and boost his yield, with Mother Nature’s cooperation, of course.
This year Pete has a test plot without starter fertilizer, a check with starter fertilizer and zinc, and a check with starter fertilizer and West Central’s Levesol™ in the tank, all in-furrow.
Obtaining top end yields demands a lot of nutrition, but most plants can’t utilize nutrients efficiently during early development. West Central’s Levesol™ not only works on micronutrients in the soil, it also helps the plants use the micronutrients in the fertilizer more effectively.
Starter vs No-Starter Corn Trials
“When it first came out of the ground, we couldn’t really see anything, but once the corn started getting to the nodal root system, and done feeding off the seed, and the starter/no starter is starting to kick in, and I can see the difference between starter and no starter. It’s kind of subtle differences between the other stuff at this point, because it’s probably kind of minute at this point. Hopefully at tassel time is when I’m going to see the difference.”
Michael Gehling, an agronomist with CHS in Grand Meadow, MN worked with Pete to get these test plots organized. In analyzing Pete’s test plots’ growth so far, Michael indicated there is definitely a difference in the root development and plant stage when you compare starter fertilizer vs. no starter fertilizer.
Pete has always used starter fertilizer, and recommends the use of starter fertilizer to other growers:
“I Definitely Recommend Starter”
“Definitely, I definitely recommend starter. And after seeing some of this, I know some guys that aren’t using starter that are probably going to take a look at this plot, and it’ll be interesting to see if they’re willing to put a starter kit on their planter. Seeing results like a field like this, what it’ll end up doing for guys. Especially in a corn on corn environment I guess. It’s key I think, to get more bang for your dollar. What little bit a starter can cost, it’ll be big benefits I think.”
Michael and Pete agree that it’s too early to tell the exact effects of the Levesol™ trial compared to the other test plots, but both are hoping for a substantial yield result this fall.
Agronomist Michael Gehling On Nutrient Efficiency
“With prices the way they are today, growers are looking for ways they can increase efficiency and decrease input costs, and I think this Levesol™ piece fits in nicely, because the idea behind that is increasing the efficiency of the nutrients that you’re putting out there, and hopefully in the end being able to use less nutrients more efficiently.”
Visit West Central to learn more about Levesol™ and the benefits of using it along with your starter fertilizer.