What’s in a starter fertilizer? Preferences about starters can be almost as strong as preferences about tractor color. Arlyn and Annette Valvick, Swea City, are part of PFI’s collaboration with the Iowa Farm Bureau. That program pairs producers with local agribusinesses for on-farm research. Arlyn and Byron Adams, of Crop Production Services Inc., agreed on a comparison of two starters, 10-34-0 and a 3-1818 that Arlyn describes as food grade. Of course they included a check treatment that received no starter at all.
As Table 3 shows the corn crop did respond to starter fertilizer. On the other hand, there was no difference in yield between the two formulations. On that basis, the cheaper product, 10-34-0, was the only one whose yield benefit exceeded its cost.