As we enter into 2017, the first few weeks of the year continue to be busy ones for growers. After seed selection largely wraps up, often one of the next decisions is looking at finalizing a fertility program for the upcoming crop. For corn and soybean growers, one decision to consider is about the use of a starter fertilizer. Across Wheat Growers Territory, a good percentage of you as growers already use a starter fertilizer, at least in corn, and with good reason. The agronomics and economics of a starter fertilizer simply make good sense. Don’t forget about soybeans, either- starters make a lot of sense there as well.

Although I usually comment more on agronomics, I do want to take the time in this blog to highlight a proprietary South Dakota Wheat Growers product that I think is worth your notice. Wheat Growers Jumper Starter fertilizer is a highly water soluble, high orthophosphate, low salt starter fertilizer available exclusively from Wheat Growers agronomy locations. Jumper has an analysis of 7-23-4 plus the addition of 0.25% zinc.

So what makes Jumper unique? I mentioned a few characteristics already. Some deal with handling- low viscosity makes it easier to handle, high water solubility leads to ease of mixing any additives you want- like Avail or a similar product for phosphorus availability, in-furrow fungicides, or insecticides like Capture LFR, etc. However, it is the agronomics of the product that really make it unique, and this is where the yield advantage comes with Jumper.

The low-salt formulation open Jumper to a broad spectrum of uses- five gallons can be used safely in corn, while something more like a three gallon per acre rate is seed-safe with soybean planting. The base phosphorus source in Jumper is an orthophosphate form of phosphorus. This orthophosphate is available for immediate and rapid uptake by plants, even in colder spring soils. High water solubility and low salt load means the product is available to plant roots quickly after germination.

Jumper offers a good source of plant available zinc- a critical micronutrient for corn growth and development. The fully chelated zinc in Jumper will remain available, even when mixed with other products in the tank, and even in the soil in the presence of high phosphorus loads. Additional zinc can be easily added to meet specific field demands.

Lastly, Jumper does contain a source of potassium for young corn and soybean plants. While potassium levels are generally fairly high in soil tests in our area, plant available potassium is a wholly different measure. With cold spring soils, potassium can get trapped in the clay layers and can be largely unavailable for a period of time. Potassium is involved in a multitude of plant processes and having a plant available source of potassium can get plants off to solid, healthy start. Plus, the potassium sources in Jumper are near pH neutral, not affecting the pH of the solution.

Jumper is a high-quality starter fertilizer for both corn and soybeans. Jumper can also be used later in the growing season for a variety of uses extending crop nutrition to corn and soybeans. Visit with your local Wheat Grower agronomist to discuss using Jumper starter fertilizer in your high-yield, maximum ROI crop fertility program.