"Phosphorus is a macronutrient that plays a number of important roles in plants. It is a component of nucleic acids, so it plays a vital role in plant reproduction, of which grain production is an important result. It is also critical in biological energy transfer processes that are vital for life and growth. Adequate phosphorus results in higher grain production, improved crop quality, greater stalk strength, increased root growth, and earlier crop maturity. For over one hundred years, phosphorus has been applied to crops as fertilizer - first as ground bone and now as some chemical reaction product of ground rock. Yet, for all that experience, its management cannot be taken for granted."
"A corn crop takes up nearly as much potassium (K) as it does nitrogen (N), yet management of each nutrient is entirely different. Because only the K in the harvested portion of a crop is removed from a field, managing K for corn silage is different than for grain."
"The economics of nutrient management are clear. Manage plant nutrients for maximum economic benefit to the farmer. That is an easy concept to accept. Profit is the bottom line in farming, as in any business."
"A new approach to N soil testing whereby samples are taken during the growing season has been under study by researchers across the country, including a major effort in Pennsylvania. This test is called the Pre-sidedress Soil Nitrate Test (PSNT). The basis for this new N soil testing approach is taking soil samples just before sidedressing? after the spring wet period but before the period of major N demand by corn-and determining the nitrate-N available in the soil at that time. The results are then used to make sidedress N recommendations."
"Corn harvested for silage is an important feed crop on most Pennsylvania farms, where cropland often is limited. The crop provides livestock producers with a high-yielding, relatively consistent source of forage and the animals with a highly digestible and palatable feed. Corn silage produces more energy per acre than any other crop grown in Pennsylvania."
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