Working closely with your advisers on basic fertility needs is a tried-and-true strategy that Dr. Ross Bender, Director of New Product Development for The Mosaic Company, stresses. He suggests starting a crop plan by focusing on the fundamentals: getting a handle on pH, ensuring macronutrients are under control and maximizing the value of micronutrients.
Phosphorus (P) fertilizer is often added to cropping systems to increase yield, but growers should not overlook the importance of micronutrients like Zinc (Zn). Understanding some of the nutrient interactions that affect nutrient availability can help with management decisions like fertilizer source.
Evaluate the yield response of MicroEssentials® SZ®
Evaluate the yield response of MicroEssentials® SZ® compared to a blend of DAP + AS + ZnSO₄ applied at different zinc rates.
There’s certainly a value to working proactively to avoid stresses before they’re apparent, especially when it comes to soil fertility. Perhaps, as you make plans for the 2014 season, it’s time to take into account your experience from past seasons to create a crop nutrition plan that can tackle fertility issues before they make their yield-robbing presence apparent.
Raising a productive crop depends greatly on the nutrients a plant is able to access during its life cycle. Many factors influence the availability of those nutrients, including soil pH. For instance, as soil pH increases, the availability of phosphorus (P), zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) decreases. Although variety selection can help manage iron deficiency in soybeans, fertilizer application is still needed to address the P and Zn deficiencies prevalent in high-pH soils.
In farming, little things can add up to make a big difference. This is certainly the case when it comes to balanced crop nutrition.
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.
You might say Ken Jahnke was raised on farming. The sales manager for Premier Cooperative in Fennimore, Wisconsin, has worked in agriculture for more than 38 years.
Sulfur deficiency in corn can masquerade as nitrogen deficiency. Boron deficiency in soybeans may remain hidden — the only sign being a yield below optimal.
Despite record corn yields in some parts of the country, low commodity prices may increase soybean acres in 2015. Rotating crops from corn to soybeans is a common practice; however, with the record yields comes record nutrient removal.
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.