Early Season Nutrition

Starter fertilizers applied at planting can help stimulate root development and increase nutrient availability to small plants. When we think of starter fertilizers, phosphorus usually comes to mind because it tends to be most limited by cool, wet spring soils. But other macro- and micronutrients that are taken up over the entire growing season (nitrogen, potassium, manganese and zinc, for example) can also be beneficial when supplied in small concentrations at planting. Looking at tissue testing results over the past four years at Frontier Cooperative, we see zinc, sulfur, and manganese as the three most deficient nutrients.  Fertilizer additives such as Optistart® Local, are designed to be blended with your in-furrow fertilizer and provide supplemental potassium, sulfur, zinc, and manganese for early season nutrition.  These micronutrients are fully chelated, which means they mix easily and are fully available to the plant without being tied up by soil cations.

Starter fertilizers paired with Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) are a good way to make sure crops have what they need for a vigorous start. PGRs can deliver many benefits to growing crops, including stem elongation, stimulating sugar movement, and signaling nutrient availability.  They can also speed up and even out the germination process for an early, consistent stand emergence, which is important for chasing high yields. You may have heard of, or even tried Ascend® in the past, a proprietary mix of three PGRs (cytokinin, gibberellic acid, and indolebutyric acid), which worked well in cool, wet soils.  An enhanced formulation called Ascend® Pro adds an amino acid derivative to help optimize performance across variable weather conditions.  So, whether you're cool and wet, hot and dry, or anywhere in between, Ascend Pro will provide a more consistent positive response to your in-furrow program.

Ask your Frontier Coop Ag Advisor about products and strategies that fit your operation to boost your crop's success from day one.