Getting the Most Out of Your Corn With Nitrogen

May 31, 2022

Nitrogen (N) is a high-value nutrient necessary for corn plant growth and high grain yield potential, but high yields at harvest time do not come without an investment. Read along to see the data from recent trials and what it means for your fields.

N is a major input cost for corn production. Applying the right amount at the right time and in the right place can help bring the highest return on N investment. Adequate N availability in corn allows the plant to reach its genetic yield potential, but it’s important to understand when a corn plant uses N during its development stages.

While N is actively taken up by the plant during each growth stage, uptake is slow during the early vegetative stages through the fifth leaf development stage. During the V6 growth stage, N uptake reaches 25-30 pounds and then accelerates from the V12 stage to tassel when uptake of the nutrient reaches 40% of the total amount of N needed by the plant to grow and set seed. From the time of tassel emergence until the reproductive stage, the plant continues to rely on N to complete the reproductive stage processes.


A study detailed in the Channel 2021 Field Research Book concluded that late-season corn plant health is directly related to the amount of available N during the growing season. Corn plants receiving split N treatments tended to yield more than plants that received only an upfront treatment of N.

Similar results were published from a trial entitled Corn Response to Nitrogen Rates. Bayer researchers found that N application rates are key to maximizing yield. The study determined that when developing a cost-effective fertility program, residual N in the soil should be considered with applied N to help maximize return on investment.


Through the Channel® Field Check Up Series, Seedsmen provide customized recommendations based on the specific growing conditions they observe throughout the growing season. It starts with placing the right products for specific field conditions, continues throughout the season with regular visits to monitor crop development, and culminates with planning for next year based on this year’s results.


Channel 2021 Research Book: Corn Characteristic Response to Nitrogen-2021


At Channel, we’re committed to helping our farmers maximize performance and profitability through our research and studies. By providing insights and advice, we’re able to help our customers make the most out of our elite seed products.