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Home > Ag Chemicals & Fertilizers > Fertilizers > AFREC > Research Projects > Utilization of P, K, S in Corn

Optimal Utilization of Phosphorus, Potassium, and Sulfur Fertilization in Corn-Soybean Rotations

Principal Investigator: Daniel Kaiser
Organization: University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water and Climate
Sponsor: Ag Fertilizer Research and Education Council
Award Amount: $61,874
Start Date: 2011
Duration of Project: 24 months

Background Information:

Making sure appropriate nutrients are applied in cropping rotations is key to maximizing both yield and profit potential. Past research has shown yield benefits for P, K, and S applied for corn and potentially to soybean.

A research project at Lamberton focusing on high yield systems has shown the potential impact from combinations of cultural practices for increasing yield potential. However, this data could not point to one particular practice or nutrient for achieving high yield potentials. The Lamberton high yield data found two intriguing results; first, soil K levels trended higher for the high yield system; and second, soybean yields were higher when sulfur was applied to corn.

Additional data from southeast Minnesota found a potential link between sulfur, phosphorus, and potassium at increasing soybean yields, and it appeared that 1< uptake was better related to soybean yield than any other factor. Little published research provides and answer as to the interactive effects of P, K, and S on yield in corn-soybean rotations.

We propose to study the effect of the application of these nutrients on corn and the following soybean crop to determine if higher nutrient levels and specific combinations of nutrients are necessary to obtain optimum yields.

Research Objectives:

1. Examine the effects of K rates applied before corn with and without P or S, on grain and stover quality and yield
2. Determine if K nutrition differs when either P or S is applied to corn.
3. Examine interactions between P, K, and S when applied in combination by measuring the uptake of macro and micronutrients and their relationship to corn grain yield.
4. Determine the impact of previous nutrient applications and varying concentrations of K in soils on soybean growth, nutrient uptake, and yield following one cropping year of corn.


Russ Derickson

Bruce Montgomery