Can Your Customers Still Benefit From a Biological Application This Season?

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Sprayer in early corn

Having the right amount of nitrogen available in the root zone during key corn growth stages is critical to get the best possible yield. You and your customers know this. What you may be questioning, however, is what the right practices and solutions are to ensure adequate nitrogen later in the growing season.

In-crop Nitrogen Management

At this point in the season, the farmers you work with may be considering applying — or may have already applied — sidedress nitrogen. Splitting up nitrogen applications can be an effective way to help corn get the nitrogen it needs when it needs it, especially if your customers protect those applications with proven nitrogen stabilizers.  

The question that remains is: Should farmers also consider adding a biological solution to their in-crop strategies? William Wynn, U.S. product manager for Nutrient Maximizers at Corteva Agriscience, says Utrisha N nutrient efficiency optimizer could be a great addition to your customers’ corn-growing operations. He says the microbial biostimulant can add an extra boost to crop vitality when the corn plants need it most.

“We see Utrisha N as an additional product to current nitrogen programs. It helps ensure the plant has nitrogen accessible during critical periods of crop development,” Wynn says. “Think of the bacteria in Utrisha N as a backup generator, if you will, for the plant from a nitrogen perspective.”

Wynn says the active ingredient in Utrisha N is a live bacterium that colonizes plant tissue and pulls nitrogen from the atmosphere for the plant to use. The bacteria stay within the plant throughout the growing season, continually — and sustainably — providing nitrogen to help optimize yield potential.

When Is the Biostimulant Still Effective?

While Utrisha N can certainly be a good addition to your customers’ in-crop nitrogen management strategies, Wynn says, there are a few items to take into consideration when deciding whether an application will still be beneficial. The first is corn growth stage.  

“Utrisha N should be foliar-applied on corn during the V4-V8 stage. We prefer this time frame as rapid nitrogen uptake and crop demand starts toward the latter end of this window,” Wynn says. “In addition, it typically takes about a week for the bacteria to colonize the corn plants and start providing nitrogen.”

However, while the preferred application timing is that V4-V8 window, Wynn says, Utrisha N can still be useful up to the corn tasseling stage. “At that tassel time frame, we are still seeing some positive results,” Wynn says. “With a corn plant needing a third of its nitrogen post-tassel, there is still a great need for nitrogen to finish the crop. This also results in better standability and sometimes staygreen benefits, depending on the environment.”

The second consideration for whether Utrisha N can still benefit customers is application conditions.  

“The bacteria in the solution enter the plant through the stomata, so the ideal timing of application is early in the morning when a greater number of the plant stomata are open. Utrisha N is also rainfast in about one hour, so I do not recommend applying during a rain event,” Wynn says. “It’s also wise to apply when temperatures are mild — neither very hot nor very cold — because the bacteria are faster to colonize plant tissue in mild conditions.”

Finally, Wynn says you’ll want to consider whether the corn is overly stressed: “Utrisha N can only be effective if it’s applied to actively growing corn. This is important: No. 1, to ensure the stomata will open to allow the bacteria into the plant; and, No. 2, because the bacteria live on methanol and other compounds, which are byproducts of cell division and expansion in actively growing plants.”  

Talk with your Corteva Agriscience territory manager to decide whether your customers’ corn can still benefit from an application of Utrisha N this season and how it can help your customers maximize future yield potential.

Utrisha™ N nutrient efficiency optimizer 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. Always read and follow label directions.