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University of Minnesota Extension

Fertilizing corn in Minnesota

In Minnesota, corn is grown on more acres than any other crop. Nationally, Minnesota ranks among the top five states in corn production. Average corn yields have improved steadily over the past several decades.

While general fertilizer use contributed substantially to yield increases in the past, total fertilizer management which optimizes nutrient efficiency will be needed to increase future production and profitability.

Fertilizing Corn in Minnesota (PDF, 2023)

Nitrogen guidelines

Minnesota corn growers receive a substantial return for money invested in nitrogen (N) fertilizers. For many situations, the most profitable yield cannot be achieved unless N fertilizers are used.

There are many management decisions involved in the use of N fertilizers. The most important decision is the selection of an N rate that will produce maximum profit while limiting the potential for environmental degradation. The choice of an appropriate rate of fertilizer N is not easy because of the transient nature of N in soils.


Phosphate and potash guidelines


Sulfur, magnesium and micronutrient needs


Authors: Daniel Kaiser, Fabian Fernandez and Melissa Wilson, Extension nutrient management specialists; Jeffrey Coulter, Extension corn agronomist; and Keith Piotrowski, director of the soil testing laboratory

Reviewed in 2024

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