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The Role of Nutrients in Corn and Soybeans

June 10, 2020

Understanding micronutrient deficiencies is very important for maximizing crop yield.  Both soil testing and plant analysis can be useful in diagnosing micronutrient deficiencies.  Soil testing for micronutrients has been the accepted practice in past years.  Micronutrient soil tests, however, are not as reliable as tests for soil pH, phosphorus, or potassium.  For this reason, plant analysis is also an important tool in diagnosing micronutrient deficiencies.  Combining plant analysis with soil testing provides a more accurate assessment of the micronutrient status of crops and soils.

Plant analysis can be used in two ways.  One is to monitor the crop’s micronutrient status; the other is to diagnose a problem situation.  By monitoring, plant analysis can point out an existing or potential problem before visual symptoms develop.  The attachments show the role of nutrients in corn and soybeans.  Knowing the role of each micronutrient allows you to pinpoint what to look for when monitoring your crop.

If you suspect a nutrient deficiency problem contact your Smith Fertilizer and Grain agronomist, do not wait for the suggested sampling time to get a plant analysis.  Collect plant samples from both poor and normal appearing plants.  Take whole plants if the plants are small; take leaf samples if the plants are large.  Corresponding soil samples should also be taken from each area to help confirm the deficiency.  Your Smith Fertilizer and Grain agronomist will assist you with foliar micronutrient recommendations that best fit your crop. 
Posted: 6/10/2020 2:15:39 PM by Rob Matherly | with 0 comments

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