Vegetable plant roots absorb nutrients through two distinctly different sequential processes. First, the nutrients must move from the soil to the surface of the plant roots. Second, the nutrients must be able to cross from the outside to the inside of the plant roots. Once the nutrient gets inside the plant, the nutrients can move upward to the leaves and developing vegetable.
Sulfur deficiency in corn can masquerade as nitrogen deficiency. Boron deficiency in soybeans may remain hidden — the only sign being a yield below optimal.
While corn prices have fostered adoption of many new high-yield management strategies in the past several years, some growers still look at soybeans as a rotational afterthought — especially where crop nutrition is concerned. But a surprising impetus — the drought of 2012 — may be changing opinions about the effect of aggressive nutrient management strategies.
Justus von Liebig, a 19th century German chemist, made great contributions to the science of plant nutrition and soil fertility. While Carl Sprengel, a German botanist, formulated the “theory of minimum,” Liebig investigated and popularized the scientific concept we know today as “Liebig’s Law of the Minimum.” This concept demonstrates that plant growth is not controlled by the total amount of available resources but by the scarcest.
High seed prices, volatile commodity markets, unpredictable weather: It’s a long list of big concerns that keeps farmers up at night. It’s those concerns that make the details that drive return on investment of paramount importance. Details like micronutrients.