What are our Three Most Commonly Deficient Micro Nutrients in Corn?


Over the three previous years, Frontier Cooperative and our growers have taken 403 corn tissue samples from V4 to V8 stage corn.  From these samples, three micronutrients stand out as opportunities to improve your yields and return on investment in corn.  The first is boron, which was responsive or deficient in 90.8% of these tissue samples. Zinc was responsive or deficient in 78.9% of samples and manganese was responsive or deficient in 56.6% of tissue samples.  Tissue sampling can identify those nutrients that can limit yields but are often difficult to see through a visual crop inspection.

Boron influences cell development and elongation.  It is involved in the transport of sugars across cell membranes and in the synthesis of cell wall material.  For these reasons, it is critical to have adequate levels of boron in corn when it gets to the V7 – V8 stage of growth.  At this stage corn enters what we call the Grand Growth Stage where it increases its growth significantly.  Boron is necessary to optimize this growth through its elongation function and provide strength to the cell walls. 

Zinc is considered the “fork lift” of micronutrients.  One of zinc’s primary functions is to provide energy to plants to help them move other nutrients into plants.  A few years ago, Winfield® United analyzed a set of NutriSolution® samples and found that where zinc was adequate, N, P, K, and S were adequate at least 85% of the time.  However, when zinc was deficient, N, K, and S were deficient 60-70% of the time and K was deficient one third of the time.  Because zinc is immobile in both the soil and the plant, corn needs available zinc all though the season. 

One of the main functions of manganese is its role in the photosynthetic process of a plant, helping it to convert sunlight into plant energy.  Manganese also helps in building carbohydrates and metabolizing nitrogen.  Manganese is one of our most commonly deficient micronutrients in soybeans.  Nearly half of the 104 R1-R3 soybean tissue samples taken by Frontier Cooperative over the last 3 years have been responsive to manganese.

Foliar Solutions for Corn or Soybeans: 

  • MAX-IN® Boron (8%) at 1-2 pts/A
  • MAX-IN® Zinc (6%) at 1-2 qts/A
  • MAX-IN® Ultra Manganese (5%) at 1-2 qts/A
  • MAX-IN® Ultra ZMB (B 0.1%, Mn 3%, S 3.6%, Zn 4%) at 1-2 qts/A
  • SymbolTM Release (B2%, Mn 3%, Mo 0.1%, S 1.5%, Zn 3%) 2-3 pts/A

Granular Solutions with Urea

  • Corn Mix LS (B 1%, Cu 1%, Mn 3%, S 7%, Zn 8%) 5-10 lbs./A
  • Zinc 10% LS (S 7%, Zn 10%)

Solutions for sidedress or fertigation with UAN

  • Ultra-Che® Corn Mix EDTA (Cu 0.4%, Mn 1.5%, Zn 5.5%) 2-4p ts/A
  • Ultra-Che® Zinc 9% EDTA ((N 7%, Zn 9%) 1-4 pts/A
  • Ultra-Che® Manganese 6% EDTA (N 3%, Mn 6%) 1-4 pts/A
  • Liquid Boron 10% 1-4 pts/A