Advice for Growing High-Yield Corn | Corteva Agriscience

A Retailer Offers Advice for Growing 200+ bu/A. Corn

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High Yield Corn

We recently had the opportunity to talk with David Nix, the location manager at Nutrien Ag Solutions in Palmyra, Missouri. He’s been in the ag retail business since 1988.

David says the secret to his and his retail location’s success is that they provide customers with excellent service and sound agronomic advice and have a desire to help farmers grow as many bushels as possible. He explains that his goal is to always put farmers’ needs first

Setting Farmers Up for Success

David tells us that, for many of his customers, success means growing high-yield corn year after year. “Guys are shooting for 200-plus bushels per acre all the time with the new hybrids,” he says.

And there is a key element corn needs to grow those 200-plus bushels.

“Nitrogen is one of the largest players in determining corn yield. You have to have the nitrogen, and you have to have it for the full growing season,” David explains. “We try to stress that the nitrogen that’s there in April and May and June is nice, and the corn is green, but unless that nitrogen’s there in July and August and early September, you’re not getting the yield you want.”       

David says it’s especially important to have nitrogen available for the corn during the grain fill stage, which can last about two months. The plants can be very vulnerable to setbacks, such as extreme weather, during kernel development. With issues like drought in some areas and rain and storms in others, ensuring the corn has all the nutrients it needs can protect against some of those setbacks.

Keeping Nitrogen Available Longer

To help ensure nitrogen is there for the corn late into the season, David advises his customers use a stabilizer. His retail location sells mostly anhydrous ammonia, as well as some UAN. David says about 95% of the nitrogen they sell is stabilized with either N-Serve® or Instinct NXTGEN® nitrogen stabilizer.

“I try to explain the agronomics behind N-Serve and Instinct and what they’re doing to hold the nitrogen in place and why it’s going to stay there. It doesn’t matter if you put more in the soil. If it’s not stabilized below ground, it’s still going to leach,” David says.

David tells us some of his customers question the logic of using a stabilizer, especially when it comes to spring and sidedress applications. He says the idea of an additional expense can be troubling, particularly as fertilizer prices are rising.

However, with some fertilizer prices getting more expensive, David says it’s even more important to protect that nitrogen investment. He tells us customers have seen the results.

“We have a no-till customer that likes to put on 75% of his UAN-32 at sidedress. We did some side by sides with and without Instinct. All it took was one year, and he could see the difference in his crop,” David says.

For many people, seeing is believing. Knowing this, David has made it a point to only recommend products and practices he believes in over his nearly 33-year career. Doing that has helped him — and his customers — find success.


Instinct NXTGEN® is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions. 


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