Starter fertilizers are a small quantity of nutrients usually applied in close proximity to the seed at planting to enhance the development of the emerging seedling. Starter fertilizers enhance the development of emerging seedlings by supplying essential nutrients in accessible locations near the roots.
Soil temperature is a major factor affecting the availability of plant nutrients. In early spring wet soils tend to stay cool and have a lower capacity to release plant nutrients. Starter fertilizer used on cool, wet soils will have a higher potential for providing yield response.