With the potential for higher soybean yields with each passing year, the need for a strong, healthy crop continues to rise. It also requires a high level of management that starts with scouting.
One of the micronutrients that is essential for crop health also happens to be one of the most deficient in the majority of fields: boron.
Even before the 2013 crop is in the bin, growers should begin putting thought into how they will proactively manage their 2014 fertility programs. One of the most important investments made in a crop season, a fertility program should be looked at holistically, and involve preparatory steps and decisions long before winter’s downtime.
The relationship between soil chemistry and nutrient uptake can fluctuate just as much as the weather from year to year.
If your nutrient application isn’t uniform, then you really don’t know how much food your crops have at their root tips. Uniform distribution of fertilizer application can be the difference that gets the plants to bountiful production and ensures the farmer’s return on investment.
Have you ever seen a soybean field where aphids infested some areas more than others? There’s a good chance the pattern might follow potassium (K) availability. Research conducted around ten years ago in Wisconsin and Michigan studied this phenomenon in detail.
The first step in effectively using soil test results to your advantage is comparing the results to historical records to ensure the results make sense. Remember, when comparing current soil tests to historical data, that the information was gathered at the same time of year, because nutrient availability can change during the year. While trends may be evident, any big change in nutrient levels in the soil should be looked at carefully.
Tissue sampling is a common tool that can provide meaningful data, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle to consider. Complementing tissue sampling with soil test results provides a comprehensive look at how nutrients are both available to and being used by the plant.
Tissue testing and plant analysis date back to the 19th century. Since that time, considerable research has been devoted to refining these tools for assisting farmers to efficiently manage crops
Nutrient testing equals quality control, according to Dr. Dave Mengel, professor of Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management at Kansas State University.
Zinc (Zn) has been put to work on farms for decades. Fencing wire and nails are galvanized with zinc to prevent rust. Metal buckets are coated with Zn to last longer. However, Zn’s most important job is in the field, as one of the 16 essential elements in plant growth.