Pay more attention to forage maize

Paying more attention to forage maize nutrition, particularly phosphate and zinc will improve crop establishment and early growth resulting in higher yield and better quality forage.

Do you know the roles of key nutrients in maize plants?

All nutrients have crucial roles in plants. Some species have a higher requirement for certain micronutrients and so deficiencies of these are more likely, however a deficiency of any macro or micronutrient will result in loss of yield and quality.

The roles of micronutrients in oilseed rape

Foliar phosphate promotes better root systems

Early growth is predominantly root development which may be restricted in dry, cold soils if moisture is limited or conversely in poorly aerated cold waterlogged soils. Nutrient availability will be also be restricted in dry soils which will further restrict root growth and the ability to support the crop later in the season.

Foliar application of phosphate is the best way to overcome these early deficiencies and will help the crop develop a better root system to support later growth.

Research has shown that phosphate deficient maize plants growing in cold and/or acid soils utilise phosphate applied to the leaf at twice the rate of control plants without any deficiency; much more phosphate was translocated from the leaf, particularly to the roots, which maximises early root development.

Data from samples analysed by Yara Analytical Services in 2019, show that 65%  maize leaf samples were defiicient in P and 45% maize soil samples were P index 2 or lower.


Maize soil samples P index 2 or lower


Maize leaf samples deficient in P

See for yourself the effect of zinc deficiency on maize

These maize plants were grown in sand and watered daily with a nutrient solution with optimum ammounts of all nutrients, but omitting zinc.

25 days after sowing the pot on the right side was treated with 1l/ha YaraVita Zintrac as a foliar spray just before filming started.

5 weeks after application the plants were harvested and there was a three fold increase in both shoot and root weight in the treated plants. 

See the full results of this pot trial


Over half of maize leaf samples are deficient in zinc

1 in 2

Half of all maize crops are not reaching their potential due to zinc deficiency

Don't get caught out - prevention is better than cure

  • Apply micronutrients before any visual symptoms of deficiency are seen in the field.
  • Prevent micronutrient deficiencies to avoid the risk of yield losses or reduced crop quality.
  • Different crops have different requirements so use specific micronutrient mixtures based on a crop's requirements
    • YaraVita Maize Boost is designed for use on maize crops and contains key micronutrients magnesium and zinc together with key macronutrients potassium and phosphate.
    • YaraVita Zintrac can also be used on maize where higher levels of zinc are required.

Mg, Zn, P and K

YaraVita Maize Boost contains all key macro- and micro-nutrients for maize

Can you afford to ignore micronutrient deficiency?

  • Potential yield losses caused by micronutrient deficiencies can be significant.
  • Trials have confirmed yield increases of up to 20% in starch and 10% dry matter in maize.
  • Cost of application is relatively low compared to the potential losses due to deficiency.
  • Increased natural immunity may reduce pressure on fungicide treatments.
  • Apply early on in the growing season for peace of mind and to reduce the risk of micronutrient deficiencies.
Grass and forage agronomy and fertiliser advice
Grass and forage agronomy and fertiliser advice

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