Foliar Nitrogen Applications: What does the Research Say?


With the overabundance of rain recently, a lot of corn is beginning to show signs of nitrogen deficiency. Because of this, there have been a lot of questions concerning foliar nitrogen applications. In particular, there is a lot of interest in the “controlled release” forms of liquid nitrogen that are being sold in the marketplace. The biggest question is whether or not these products perform as advertised. I’ve addressed this issue in a previous post and have come to the conclusion that buyer should beware. But, this is my opinion (based upon agronomic principles), so what does the research say? It’s a fair question so I’m providing a summary of the reasearch along with links to the original source.

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**Added 12/2011**

Crop: Corn

Title: Research Conducted By: Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers

Product Tested: Coron, High NRG-NR

Summary & Results: Research conducted in years 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009. No statistically significant yield increases were observed.

URL: http://www.agroliquid.com/assets/Research/Research-data/corn-foliar.pdf

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**Added 12/2011**

Crop: Corn

Title: Research Conducted By: Iowa Soybean Association

Product Tested: Coron

Summary & Results: CoRon yielded -2.6 bu./acre compared to untreated check.

URL: http://www.isafarmnet.com/09STResults/Calhoun/st2009345C.pdf

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Crop: Corn

Title: Missouri Soil Fertility and Fertilizers Research Update 2009, ‘Foliar Fertilizer and Fungicide Interactions on Corn’ (pages 91-97)

Research Conducted By: University of Missouri

Product Tested: Coron, PacerN, Various other fertilizer materials

Summary & Results: “The incidence of disease was not affected by fertilizer treatments.”

“There was a significant increase in grain yield (17 bu/acre) when 30-0-0 was applied to corn at VT at Novelty and Portageville.” [all other foliar materials showed no significant yield increase]

URL: http://aes.missouri.edu/pfcs/research/prop09.pdf

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Crop: Corn

Title: Fertilizer Placement Options Demonstration

Research Conducted By: UNL South Central Agriculture Laboratory; Glen P. Slater, Richard B. Ferguson

Product Tested: Coron

Summary & Results: “There is little evidence that foliarly-applied Coron was able to replace N which was not supplied by NH3 at V6.”

URL: http://scal.unl.edu/Fertility/Fertilizer%20Placement%20Demo%202009%20Report.pdf

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Crop: Corn

Title: Corn Response to Foliar Coron Applications with Reduced N Rates (2002)

Research Conducted By: Mississippi State University; R.R. Dobbs, N.W. Buehring, M.P. Harrison

Poduct Tested: Coron, Urea

Summary & Results: “Foliar applications of Coron or urea had no effect on corn yield, and there was no foliar application by soil N rate interaction. Averaged over foliar applications, yields were increased from 184 to 203 bu/ac as soil N rates increased from 140 to 200 lb N/ac rates.”

URL: http://msucares.com/nmrec/publications/2002/corn/rotation/dobbs01corn3856.pdf

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Crop: Corn

Title: Corn Response to Foliar Coron Applications with Reduced N rates (2003)

Research Conducted By: Mississippi State University; M.P. Harrison, N.W. Buehring, R.R. Dobbs

Product Tested: Coron

Summary & Results: “Foliar applications of Coron had no effect on corn yield and there was no foliar application by N rate interaction. Averaged over foliar applications, yields increased from 150 to 173 bu/acre as soil N rates increased from 119 to 170 lb N/ac.”

URL: http://u5s1ea.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pHn7ARyChkaDUSg_mGrPQyCCdEC03-ArmLVuluf5QmyPXZQNCgs7zGlz108d4HEKC5BfZyLeY36bDzcpw1-EQeKtQqHYf-nTm/Corn%20Response%20to%20FoliarCoRoN%20Applications%202003.pdf?download&psid=1

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Crop: Corn

Title: Coron Nitrogen Study on Corn – 2007

Research Conducted By: Becks Hybrids, Illinois PFR Center

Product Tested: Coron

Summary & Results: “Overall, Coron treatment yielded an average of 13 Bu./A. less than the traditional 200# rate in a 100# 28% pre-plant and a 100# 28% side-dress. From 1-5 gallons/A. there was only a 1.7 bu./A. difference between Coron treatments. This would indicate that most of the nitrogen used was received from the 150# pre-plant and the post application of Coron at V12 did not supply much benefit to the corn crop. After accounting for the cost of nitrogen, Coron treatment averaged a net return loss of $36.40 per acre compared to the control.”

URL: http://www.beckshybrids.com/research/2007/pg112.pdf

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Crop: Corn

Title: Missouri Soil Fertility and Fertilizers Research Update 2008, ‘Foliar N Efficiency Experiment’ (pages 57-58)

Research Conducted By: University of Missouri

Product Tested: Coron, Urea, UAN

Summary & Results: “Foliar Treatments did not show superior ability to deliver in-season N to a corn crop relative to soil applied treatments.”

  • “Average yield with foliar N was 119 bu/acre, with soil-applied N was 127bu/acre.”
  • “Foliar urea gave significantly higher yield than foliar Coron or foliar UAN.”

URL: http://aes.missouri.edu/pfcs/research/prop08.pdf

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Crop: Corn

Title:  Missouri Soil Fertility and Fertilizers Research Update 2008, ‘Foliar Fertilizer and Fungicide Interactions on Corn’ (pages 126-131)

Research Conducted By: University of Missouri

Product Tested: Coron, Pacer N, Various other fertilizer materials

Summary & Results: “There was no significant increase in grain yield when foliar fertilizers were applied to corn at VT. Some foliar fertilizers reduced grain yield 14 to 24 bu/acre when compared to the non-treated control in 2008.”

URL: http://aes.missouri.edu/pfcs/research/prop08.pdf

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Crop: Soybean

Title: 100 Bushel Soybean Study – 2009

Research Conducted By: Becks Hybrids, Illinois PFR Center

Product Tested: Coron, Sable

Summary & Results: “Both Sable and Coron foliar nitrogen treatments did not offer yield benefits. Applications were made later at the R4 growth stage and this may have been too late for these products.”

URL: http://www.beckshybrids.com/research/2009/pg126-127.pdf

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Crop: Soybean

Title: Becks Foliar Fungicide and Insecticide Study – 2006

Research Conducted By: Becks Hybrids

Product Tested: Coron

Summary & Results: [Foliar applied Coron provided no benefit]

URL: http://www.beckshybrids.com/research/2006/pg65.pdf

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Crop: Soybean

Title: Foliar Fertilization of Roundup Ready Soybeans

Research Conducted By: University of Delaware; Gregory D. Binford, Brian K. Hearn, Mark A. Isaacs, David J. Hansen, Richard W. Taylor

Product Tested: Coron, Ele-max (Mn), Norcrop, Nutrition Plus

Summary & Results: “This research shows no benefit from mixing foliar fertilizers with glyphosate during application to RR soybeans on Coastal Plain soils in the Mid-Atlantic Region. In addition, the application of N fertilizers during early reproductive growth results in no yield benefit within the yield range and growing conditions observed in this study.”

URL: http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/cm/research/2004/rr/

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Crop: Wheat & Barley

Title: Studies on slow-release liquid fertilizers applied at low rates as a foliar application on North Dakota spring wheat/winter wheat [multiple studies]

Research Conducted By: North Dakota State University, David Franzen

Product Tested: Coron, GP 30-0-0 foliar, N-Pact, UAN

Summary & Results: [no significant differences from foliar products across all studies]

URL: http://www.soilsci.ndsu.nodak.edu/Franzen/Franzen_Publications/foliarNreport.pdf

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Crop: Wheat

Title: Evaluation of Greenseeker System in Wheat

Research Conducted By: Brian Vulgamore, Vulgamore Family Farms

Product Tested: Coron, Greenseeker

Summary & Results: “Be careful when considering alternatives to traditional fertilizer”

URL: http://www.ksagresearch.com/conference13/Research%20pdf/Vulgamore_NrichStudy.pdf

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Crop: Wheat

Title: Wheat Response to Late-season N Application for Protein, Carrington, 2005

Research Conducted By: North Dakota State University; Greg Andres and Blaine G. Schatz

Product Tested: Coron, UAN

Summary & Results: [No increase in yield or protein from foliar applications]

URL: http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/carringt/agronomy/Research/Fertility/05%20HRSW%20Response%20to%20N%20for%20Protein.pdf

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Crop: Wheat

Title: Foliar Application of Nitrogen Fertilizer on Winter Wheat

Research Conducted By: Michigan State University Extension; Martin Nagelkirk

Product Tested: Coron, GP exp, Pacer N, UAN

Summary & Results: “None of the N treatments improved grain yields above the control.” “Yields tended to be slightly depressed by foliar treatments…”

URL: http://u5s1ea.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pEIy5xpc8K_cin5jnB-JvFv2WdStgSa0P-Y7A3UoMEEl9eAN75snhFinU9Ay36-GIYisDNFBUcWyBSfF9HFRxeliTGcZKv_Tj/Foliar%20Application%20of%20Nitrogen%20on%20Winter%20Wheat.pdf?download&psid=1

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One Response to Foliar Nitrogen Applications: What does the Research Say?

  1. Leigh Hoyt says:

    Maybe you should try something different than Coron and products that do have the ability to increase yield. Kugler Company has hundreds of trials done by farmers themselves all all major crops that show not only a yield increase but healthier plant. Please when you do test plots do it with products that work. We would be happy to put our KQ-XRN up against any slow release nitrogen as long as it was applied during the application time and rates we recommend.

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