Background:

Nitrogen can have a great impact on a grower’s success and identifying nitrogen deficiency and its cause can be critical. Severe nitrogen deficiency will result in a yellow colored V on the leaves of the corn plant. Since nitrogen is a mobile nutrient, symptoms will begin in the lower leaves and move up the plant. Soybean leaves will also appear pale green to yellowish with dark green veins. 

 

Favorable Conditions:

Cold or saturated soils, dry soil, particularly after the mid-season; large amounts of low nitrogen residue, sandy soils, inadequate fertilization, leaching from heavy rainfall, excessive rains, and ponding/flooding. 

 

What to look for:

Corn: stunted, spindly plants with light green or yellowish color. V shaped yellowing of the lower leaves starting at the leaf tips, the entire leaf will eventually turn brown and wither. 

Soybeans: poor modulation of roots, stunted spindly plants with a light green color which will appear on the first leaves. 

 

Sources:

Nutrient Deficiencies and Application Injuries in Field Crops