One of the first major decisions growers make for their corn is about the use of a starter fertilizer. Since about 90% of you are already using such a product, your decision is more specific to which product you’ll go with.
I don’t usually use this space to plug a particular product, but I’ve reserved the right to do so when I come across one that actually merits some attention. In the world of starter fertilizers, CVA’s own Begin is one such product.
This isn’t a sales pitch, though. If it were, I’d go ahead and tell you about the convenience that Begin offers you—about its viscosity, for example, water solubility, and compatibility with other products. Because it’s true, that Begin offers all of these things. But those characteristics don’t increase your yield and aren’t the things that make Begin worth talking about.
What makes it worth talking about is its sound agronomic properties which offer you more than just the convenience but also the biochemical goodness to support the dynamite health and development of your crop to the tune of an additional $8-10 per acre.
Most notably, Begin offers a good dose of potassium at a vital time for corn. Early spring in Nebraska is a time of cool, wet soils, which are less than ideal for root development and nutrient uptake. This is especially true for potassium, which gets trapped between the contracted and bound layers of clay in our soil and so kept unavailable to our plants. The healthy dose of potassium contained in Begin resolves this problem by supplying plants with a ready source of the nutrient available for use.
The source of potassium in Begin—potassium chloride—makes this healthy dose possible. It allows us to add potassium to our fields at a high rate and keep our pH at a good level in most situations.
The second major benefit that Begin offers is the source of phosphorous it utilizes. Begin supplies plants with an orthophosphate instead of a polyphosphate like most other starter fertilizers supply. This is important to our plants as orthophosphates are more easily taken up, whereas polyphosphates must first be converted (to orthophosphates in fact, so Begin has actually done some of the work for the plant in this matter).
Potassium and phosphorous are critical to early root development, which makes for a more robust and tolerant plant through the season.
I spend a lot of time in the spring on service calls and see a lot of problems with just no really good solution. Begin has been a new tool for me, a good answer to problems which before had no good answer and I continue to find new applications for it that are unique among starter fertilizers. In addition to being a high-quality starter fertilizer for both corn and soybeans, Begin can be used as a foliar treatment for soybeans and a vehicle for fungicides, just to name a few. In the next twelve months, you’ll see me using Begin for these purposes and others.
In the world of good/better/best, Begin is a top notch product and a great way to kick off your season.