Mycogen Seeds is a retail seed company of Dow AgroSciences LLC and a developer and marketer of leading corn hybrids, the market leader in SILAGE-SPECIFIC™ corn hybrids and sunflower hybrids, as well as an industry leader in canola, alfalfa, soybeans and sorghum. For more information about MYCOGEN brand products, visit www.MYCOGEN.com.


Dow AgroSciences, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, develops leading-edge crop protection and plant biotechnology solutions to meet the challenges of the growing world. Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and had annual global sales of $5.7 billion in 2011.



What is the best approach to applying a starter fertilizer?


• Soil temperature• Soil type

• Moisture levels • Organic matter

• Residue • Soil testing

Understand the importance of a starter fertilizer application. Starter fertilizer is a concentration of fertilizer placed near the corn root zone at planting to help plants get off to a healthy start. The primary purpose for using a starter fertilizer is to increase the nutrient source for the newly formed root system and help with any adverse conditions that may arise soon after planting. Before applying starter fertilizer, it’s important to determine which application method is best for the situation, and ensure that the proper equipment is available. Common ways to apply a starter fertilizer effectively are two-by-two, surface dribble and in the furrow (“pop-up”).

It’s advantageous to apply a starter fertilizer in early spring, when the soil temperature is not warm enough to mineralize the organic matter for critical nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in conventional and/or no-till situations. Starter fertilizer application on cool, wet soils will supply nitrogen and phosphorus to the plants, producing healthier plants, vigorous root systems, faster growth, quicker canopy closure and higher yields. Using a good starter fertilizer program also can be beneficial on soils with a pH below 6.0 where the aluminum and iron are tying up phosphorus.


To maximize yields use the starter fertilizer program that fits your farming practices and equipment. A starter fertilizer should have nitrogen and phosphorus rates blended for your specific needs. For more information, contact your local Mycogen Seed Dealer.

Sources: Ohio State University: Using starter fertilizer; Fluid fertilizer: Don’t forget starter fertilizer; Farmwest.com: Applying starter fertilizer; Soil Facts: Start fertilizer for corn production www.mycogen.com   ®The Mycogen Logo is a trademark of Mycogen Corporation. ™“Science. Yield. Success.” is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. ©2011 Mycogen Seeds. Mycogen Seeds is an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC. S47-137-019 (04/11) BR   010-12764   MYCOGENL0076 SF


 Flooding affects fields differently based on a variety of factors. Manage flooded corn to minimize damage and ensure optimum plant health and yields. 


• Growth stage • Root development  • Air temperature  • Disease • Nitrogen availability • Scouting fields


Step 1. Consider plant growth stage. Young corn that has not reached the V6 stage is most susceptible to flooding damage and typically can survive flooded conditions for only up to four days. When flooding occurs, there is less oxygen available in the soil. Without oxygen, the corn plant cannot uptake the nutrients and water essential for its survival. 

 Step 2. Understand root development. Excess moisture during the early vegetative stages also can slow down corn root development. If a dry summer follows the flooding period, the plant is unlikely to survive because its root system is not developed enough to access soil moisture.

Step 3. Be aware of air temperature. If air temperature is 75 F or warmer, corn plants are unlikely to survive longer than 24 hours in flooding situations. The warmer temperatures decrease the amount of oxygen in the soil, making it even harder for oxygen to reach the corn plant.  Cooler temperatures keep the oxygen available in the soil and can prolong the life of the plant up to four days. 

 Step 4. Monitor for diseases. Corn that survives flooding is at higher risk of diseases such as pythium, corn smut and crazy top. The best disease prevention is to scout flood-affected fields closely, as they may need to be harvested early and at higher moisture levels to reduce yield losses.

Step 5. Apply nitrogen. Nitrogen (N) loss is often a result of prolonged ponding or saturated fields. It is important that N-deficient areas are detected early so supplemental N can be sidedressed as soon as possible. 

Step 6. Scout fields. In addition to scouting for disease and nitrogen loss, closely monitor corn that has been fully submerged to assess plant survival. After flooding, split the stalks and visually examine the lower portion of the stem. It should be white to cream-colored. A darkening  or softening of the tissue often precedes the plant’s death. If the corn has not yet emerged, a sign of survival is continued leaf growth three  to five days after the water drains.


Cornfields can survive up to four days of flood conditions, depending on various factors. It is important to scout fields regularly for disease,  N loss and overall plant health. If there is extreme damage, talk to your agronomist about replanting. For more information, contact your local Mycogen Seeds customer agronomist or trusted agronomic adviser.