Category Archives: Fertility

UT Fertilizer Recommendations for Optimal Corn Productivity

This is part one of a series of blog articles that will focus on some fundamental information on UT fertilizer recommendations for corn. Commonly recommended nutrients for use in corn production in TN include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulfur (S), and zinc (Zn). Each nutrient will be discussed in terms of the relevant soil test that maybe used or used in recommendation; recommended preplant, starter, sidedress, and foliar fertilizer applications; and plant/tissue analysis. To ensure simplicity and better assimilation of the voluminous information, each nutrient will be featured on a different day of this week. Today’s focus will be on nitrogen (N).

UT nitrogen (N) fertilizer recommendations for optimal corn productivity

Today’s blog will focus on UT nitrogen recommendations for optimal corn productivity under conditions in TN. Nitrogen is a major component of chlorophyll (the green pigment), that is essential for photosynthesis. Hence, its deficiency tends to cause chlorosis. In addition, inadequate supply of N at critical growth stage can reduce ear size and lead to yield loss.

Soil test for nitrogen

Plants use N in the nitrate (NO3) and ammonium (NH4+) forms. However, ammonium levels are generally very low in upland soils so soil nitrate tests are used to measure plant available N and adjust N fertilizer applications for corn. There are two commonly used soil nitrate tests used in the US, the Pre-Plant Nitrate Test (PPNT) and Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test (PSNT). Soil samples for PPNT is collected prior to preplant N application while PSNT are collected prior to pre-sidedress application.

In TN, only the Pre-sidedress Soil Nitrate Test (PSNT) is recommended for corn production, particularly for producers using animal manure such as poultry litter. Detailed information on sample collection and processing procedure are described in the UT Publication, The Pre-Sidedress Nitrate-N Soil Test (PSNT) For Nitrogen Management in Corn Production Systems of Tennessee. Interpretation of the PSNT in Tennessee is made based on yield potential of the field, soil test level, and field history.

In TN, current N application rate for corn production is based on yield goal. However, adjustment can be made based on past production records and PSNT if applicable. Another tool available for estimating corn N rate is the Nitrogen Rate Calculator at

Continue reading

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The New !!!

Author:  Comments Off on The New !!!

If you haven’t noticed, our website has gotten a facelift.  You may not recognize it when you first visit us at  However, it’s organized similarly to the old version.  I’m sure there are a few bugs that need to be fixed, but take a look!  This site gives you ready access to essentially all UT resources related to row crop production.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Virtual Training: Soil sampling and testing considerations for optimum crop yield

Author:  Comments Off on Virtual Training: Soil sampling and testing considerations for optimum crop yield

I will be hosting pre-recorded virtual training “Soil sampling and testing considerations for optimum crop yield”. Presentation will focus on two of the cardinal steps in soil testing; soil sampling and fertilizer recommendation. The pre-recorded video will be posted on UT Crops YouTube Channel. Participants will have access to the recorded presentation on Friday (10/23) at 9:00 am. In order to get points for CEU, complete the quiz and provide your contact information here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Virtual Milan No-till Field Day … Available Now!

Follow the link below to experience the 2020 Milan No-till Field Day at your own pace! You can watch an entire tour by clicking on its name, or just one presentation by clicking on a specific title.

Please note, all links will open in a new tab. Closed captions are available by clicking the “CC” button on the right side of the video’s play bar.

Research Tours


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Reminder – UT Cotton Scout School (8:30, Friday May 29th via Zoom)

Author:  Comments Off on Reminder – UT Cotton Scout School (8:30, Friday May 29th via Zoom)

Because of the COVID-19 situation, the 2020 UT Cotton Scout School will be held by webinar (via Zoom) on May 29th, beginning at 8:30 AM and ending by Noon. Participants will be required to preregister to receive the Zoom password to enter the meeting. To preregister, please email LaDonn Kelso at She will reply to your message with the Zoom meeting password.

Pesticide re-certification points and Continue reading

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Soil fertility and nutrient management practices survey

Author:  Comments Off on Soil fertility and nutrient management practices survey

I am Nutifafa Adotey, University of Tennessee’s Soil and Nutrient Management Extension Specialist. A thriving and productive land for subsequent generation is of uttermost importance to every farmer, rancher, or grower. This survey is designed to gather brief but valuable information on some basic production practices in Tennessee. This information will help with the accurate delivery of innovations or interventions on soil fertility that caters to the needs of producers in Tennessee.

Kindly take a few minutes to fill out this survey if you are a producer or share this information with other producers in Tennessee. The survey can also be taken on mobile devices such as the smartphone or tablet. I have contracted with QuestionPro, an independent research firm, to field your confidential survey responses. I would appreciate your feedback in our online survey. Your survey responses will remain confidential and secure. Data will only be used to help build a robust soil and nutrient management extension and research program.

The survey is available at

I appreciate your trust and look forward to serving you in the future.

Please contact with any questions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Minimizing Nitrogen Loss in Row Crop Production Using Nitrogen Stabilizers

Author: , and  Comments Off on Minimizing Nitrogen Loss in Row Crop Production Using Nitrogen Stabilizers

Nitrogen (N) fertilization is a costly operation for most row crop producers. Consequently, it is important to implement best management practices (BMP) available for N fertilizer application in order to be profitable. The problem with N fertilizers is their potential to be lost through different N loss pathways: ammonia volatilization, denitrification, and leaching. Spring of 2020 has been generally wet and if this weather pattern continues, farmers should have no problem receiving incorporating rain, minimizing risk for ammonia volatilization from surface-applied at planting N. In TN, most row crop producers split-apply N, with the majority of N fertilizer applied as a sidedress which is closer to the period of high N demand. Since a large portion of N is applied as sidedress, there is the greatest risk for N loss depending on management practice as well as soil and environmental conditions. Continued wet weather might support the use of nitrification inhibitor type products in wetter soils. This blog addresses N stabilizers as a tool to minimize the risk of N loss and ensure that N is available for crops during the period of high demand. Continue reading

Print Friendly, PDF & Email