Agriculture News: Tips for getting started growing corn for grain

By Keenan Bishop, Published:

In central Kentucky, corn planting for grain generally commences around April 15, depending on the weather and soils of course. The following are some general rules of thumb since we have so many new producers growing grain now.

Phosphorus and potassium should already be applied but liquid or granular nitrogen can be applied with the planter or should be applied shortly after planting. Total nitrogen can be reduced if it’s applied several weeks after planting. Insecticide seed treatments are applied with the planter. Pre-emergence herbicides should be applied immediately after planting and before the crop emerges.

Soon after emergence, stand counts should be conducted to determine the quality of the stand. On poorly drained soils, nitrogen sidedress applications should be made as late as possible but before corn is knocked over by the application equipment.

Scout for weeds and determine weed pressure prior to post-emergence herbicide applications. Be sure to check the herbicide labels and growth stages of corn before making a herbicide application. We have copies of AGR-6 “Weed Control in Grain Crops” if you need a copy.

Save your chemical jugs and recycle them at Rinse & Return at the county Road Department later this summer.

Scout for insects to prevent damage to corn in the early seedling stages. Some insects can damage corn in the early seedling stages even if a preventive control was applied. Scout for insects following emergence. If damage is found, identify the species and the level of damage and make an insecticide treatment only if necessary.

Scrap metal collection

Look around your place for scrap metal that can be recycled and plan to bring it to Lakeview Park during Spring Scrap Metal Collection set for 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. April 21-26.

Items accepted include: metal, appliances, appliances with Freon, fencing, sheet metal, farm equipment — pretty much anything metal from the home or farm.

Items not accepted are: tires, oils, electronics and/or televisions.

For more information call 502-352-2701 or visit

Tobacco fertilizer issues

Bob Pearce, University of Kentucky tobacco specialist, is warning that some fertilizer dealers/distributors are reporting a locally severe shortage of sulfate of potash (0-0-50) for the 2014 growing season.

Apparently there are limited supplies in some areas and almost none (at least some dealers have none in stock) in other areas of the state. Sulfate of potash is the preferred source of potash for spring application to tobacco because of quality concerns from high levels of chloride that come with using muriate of potash (0-0-60).

He also reports that after speaking with several tobacco company agronomists they are not backing off their concerns about the chloride issue (which is why 0-0-50 must be applied after Jan. 1). 

Some companies have language in their contract that specifically addresses this concern.

If you have problems sourcing 0-0-50 stop by the office and we can discuss your options.

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