Limited supply of nitrogen early in the season (before V6 stage) may not be as critical as later in the season. The crop does not need a large amount of nitrogen on or before the six-leaf stage.

By the time corn reaches the V6 stage, it has accumulated only 6 percent to 8 percent of its total N requirement. So, assuming that other factors have not hurt the yield potential, original plans should continue with side-dressing done so that applied nitrogen is available to plant roots by the time corn reaches six- to eight-leaf stage.

Nitrogen deficiencies during the V6 and V10 growth stages will affect corn yield potential. Under current conditions, and with the early-planted corn, it is possible that the plants have accumulated enough nitrogen to produce a plant of normal height.

However, it may not be enough to maximize the existing yield potential. If visual deficiency symptoms are observed after a few days of good weather, consider applying 100 pounds of urea as soon as possible.

Limited supply of nitrogen by the tassel stage typically results in small kernels. A yield increase from a pre-tassel (VT) nitrogen application may be more likely this season, especially in fields where substantial N loss has occurred and is not properly accounted for in the side-dress application or supplemental application.

This pre-tassel application would help ensure sufficient supply of nitrogen for grain filling. It may also help reduce yield variability associated with different amounts of N loss due to field topography.