Starter Fertilizer is Key

Kelly MarshallAgribusiness, Nutrient Management

Nice weather in many parts of the country has growers already in the fields.  That comes with many advantages, but early planting also comes with challenges too.  Planting into cool, sometimes wet soils can prevent phosphorus (P) from being readily available to the crop, says Todd Carpenter of Verdesian Life Sciences.  Phosphorus leads to early root growth and development, creating a more robust plant, stronger root structure, more leaf area, and larger stalks because the plant is better able to make use of water and nutrients.  But it’s not enough to just apply phosphorus.  Growers also need to be aware of how they manage the nutrient so it doesn’t become locked in the soil.  Between 75 to 95 percent of P can end up unavailable for the plant, Carpenter explains, but farmers can take steps to prevent this.

One way is to follow the 4Rs of stewardship; use the right product at the right rate and the right time and in the right place.   Research has also shown using AVAIL Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer from Verdesian can make an average of 30 percent more P available to crops when compared to controls; in some soil conditions availability increases much more.

To learn more about starter fertilizer check out and for more information on AVAIL visit