Stalk Nitate TestingSoils Specialist Charles Shapiro posted information on this topic on the UNL Crop Watch Site, “Does Your Current Corn Nitrogen Strategy Deserve an A or a D?

The results of the corn stalk nitrate test will indicate whether the corn was over fertilized during the season.

How to Take the Test (Source UNL Crop Watch)

Take corn stalk samples up to three wekks after the black layer formation in 80% of the kernels. Remove an 8-inch segment from 6 inches to 14 inches above the ground. Keep the samples cool and send to a laboratory immediately. Samples should be sent in paper wrapping and not plastic to avoid molding.

Summary Information

The stalk nitrate test provides useful information as part of your nitrogen management program.  By sampling diffferent parts of your fields, you will have a better understanding of the relationships between nitrogen application and yield rate.


If you need plant bags with perforated holes, contact a representative at Midwest Laboratories. These bags help cut down on mold buildup due to excess moisture. If you have other questions regarding your test results or information mentioned in the article,contact a representative in our soil and plant department to answer your questions.

Here is a video demonstration of the process produced by University of Wisconsin Extension