As spring turns into early summer, our focus turns from getting the crop planted to keeping it clean and healthy. Mother Nature has made it challenging to put down timely applications of herbicides, fertilizer and micronutrients this year.
Information gathered from several places helps us determine whether our growing crop will have enough food to reach its full yield potential:
1. Pre-planting soil tests.
Soil tests, taken in the fall or early spring, are used to see what is available for plants to uptake during the growing season.
2. Fertilizer applied at planting time.
A general broadcast application of N-P-K with or without micronutrients and a starter fertilizer is usually put down at planting time. Some planters also have the ability to apply micronutrients.
3. Current field information.
Random soil tests can verify if the nutrients previously applied were lost due to a weather event. These tests also indicate if there’s a proper balance of micro- and macronutrients. Some folks believe an early tissue test can reveal if micronutrients are lacking for early crop growth. I prefer to take tissue samples after a plant’s root system is totally developed to reflect the value of N-P-K.
With this information, we can make fertilizer adjustments to balance the crop’s needs and adjust application based on anticipated corn yields. This allows us to apply what is needed without over applications. This saves money and helps avoid nutrient runoff and waste.
Latham’s Seed-2-Soil® program can help with (1) nutrient management; (2) FieldXField TM crop planning; (3) seed treatments and (4) agronomics. Learn more at LathamSeeds.com or by calling 1.877.GO.LATHAM (1.877.465.2842).