Ag News

Equipping Crops With Key Nutrients

IARN — Iowa farmers “hit the ground running” when it came to planting.

The state’s expected corn crop is three weeks ahead of the five-year average and nearly a month ahead of last year and the state’s expected soybean crop is off to a similar start.

Planting crops in a timely manner is a feat. However, one must nurture those crops to help them reach their full capacity. A technical sales manager offers further advice below.

Tyler Smith, technical sales manager with The Mosaic Company, says, “It’s been a faster spring than what we’re use to.” Smith adds, “An expedited time frame does not always offer time to take the next steps into consideration.” He urges farmers to remain cognizant of mobile nutrients moving forward.

“It hasn’t been as wet this spring, but nitrate from nitrogen is mobile in soil solutions. Sulfate and sulfur are mobile in soil solution, as well as boron and chloride. Keep an eye on those. If you have soil samples, those can give a little bit of a snapshot of where those nutrients were at last fall,” Smith said.

Farmers unable to collect soil samples last fall might want to look at early season tissue tests, according to Smith.

“Tissue tests are a good way to supplement a robust soil sampling program, to give growers a snapshot of what nutrients might be deficient in their plants. A lot of those deficiencies, whether it be phosphorus or potash, don’t manifest themselves until after the V6 growth stage in corn. The earlier we can get tissue testing within the current crop, the better handle we can get on which nutrients we possibly need to top dress, side dress, or do a rescue application on, so we can maximize yield and optimize our crop’s ability.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

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