Maximize Sidedress Nitrogen Applications

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In this video two experts offer advice to maximize sidedress nitrogen applications. Follow these friendly reminders to maximize your corn yield potential this season.

Depending on your soil, you may decide to split up your nitrogen applications in the spring. For example: If you have wet and/or sandy soils, you may be more at risk for nitrogen loss. Applying some nitrogen in early spring and some at sidedress can help prevent those losses, benefiting ROI and the environment.

Soil Test First

If you need to apply sidedress nitrogen this season, you’ll first want to test the soil to make sure you’re applying the right amount:

  • Test when corn is 6 to 12 inches tall, which is typically late May to early June.
  • Sample areas that are similar in texture and 10 to 20 acres in size.
  • Avoid sampling from previous fertilizer application bands.
  • Tests should consist of 15 to 20 cores per sample.


Applying the right amount of fertilizer will help ensure corn has the nutrients it needs when it needs them. This also will help avoid overapplying, which can waste money.

Apply Nitrogen on Time

For the best results, apply sidedress nitrogen sometime between the V3 and V6 stages. Be sure to get the application in before V9.

It’s also advised to include a nitrogen stabilizer with sidedress applications. Weather is unpredictable, and events like heavy rains can increase nitrogen loss via leaching. Both N-Serve® and Instinct NXTGEN® nitrogen stabilizers work below ground where up to 70% of nitrogen loss occurs from leaching and denitrification.

For sidedress, you can use N-Serve to protect anhydrous ammonia and Instinct NXTGEN with UAN. Both solutions can extend nitrogen availability by up to eight weeks.

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.