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Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Cycles of precipitation, along with freezing and thawing in the Midwest, made fall field a challenge to say the least. For areas that primarily use anhydrous ammonia, this may be especially true with the increase in annual precipitation that we have experienced in the Corn Belt. Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team has been conducting research on different nitrogen management products and practices to help farmers make decisions and analyze various options to maximize their ROI.

Spring Anhydrous Ammonia Applications

Depending on the winter weather in a region, a spring ammonia application may or may not be possible to facilitate an ideal planting date. If a spring nitrogen application is an option being considered for the 2020 growing season, check out our data in the below anhydrous ammonia studies:

Multi-Location Corn Nitrogen Placement Study – Anhydrous Ammonia

Multi-Location Corn Nitrogen Depth and Timing Study – Anhydrous Ammonia   

When making an anhydrous application, placement and timing can be crucial to ensure safety of the corn crop. Other variables like depth, soil moisture, and incorporation are additional factors that need to be considered when making planting decisions to avoid crop injury.


Over the past three seasons, utilizing a liquid system on a planter has proven to be one of the most effective ways to consistently increase productivity and ROI. Having a liquid system such as the Yetter Dual 2968 Series or the Martin-Till Dual UMO system (that we have continuously tested in PFR) on the planter allows farmers to apply nitrogen early and feed both sides of the row. In-depth data on planter attachments is observed in the new agronomy section of the 2019 PFR Book, which you can access here.

In our research we have found that by splitting UAN fertilizer on both sides of the row, we are able to divide up the salt load and further increase our rate of UAN up front for an additional yield increase. Having a liquid system on a planter provides the flexibility to adjust the nitrogen rate at planting and also offers farmers the ability to add other nutrients like Thio-Sul® or Feast® Micro Master™ Chelated Calcium that we evaluated in our Starter Additive Rate Study  


Sidedress is a practice that is not only PFR Proven™ but has become the standard in our nitrogen program across our PFR locations. While we conduct studies based on sidedress applications, our primary program is 2X2 up front followed by a sidedress application at the V3 growth stage. We practice this split application nitrogen program across most of our corn acres because it has proven for years at multiple locations to be the most efficient and most cost-effective way to fuel our corn crop. Check out more on this study by clicking here. 

A sidedress application is a valuable tool that allows farmers to make changes in their nitrogen program during the season. Splitting your nitrogen applications across various corn growth stages spreads out risk and allows farmers to become more efficient with their nitrogen use.

To view more of our 2019 studies and data, click here.

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Caleb Shoemaker

Caleb Shoemaker

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