A good crop fertility always starts from the ground up simply because the majority of nutrients crops require to produce economically viable crops are derived from the soil. Thus, the plant’s roots are the primary organs responsible for nutrient uptake. But science has clearly shown that above ground plant parts can be very receptive and efficient at absorbing foliar applied nutrients. In fact, foliar nutrition can be a fantastic supplement to a sound soil applied fertility program.
Foliar nutrition applications should always be based on sound agronomic principles and with a specific goal or objective in mind. As such, foliar nutrition can be a very useful tool for supplementing soil fertility programs especially when soil or weather conditions are hostile to nutrient availability or uptake.
So, what crop, soil, or weather conditions favor foliar nutrient applications?
- Soils that are saturated from excessive rainfall leading to leaching and denitrification losses of soil applied nitrogen.
- Soils in dry land farming lack rainfall needed to move top-dressed nitrogen into the root zone.
- Specific growth stages that have a distinct nutrient to yield component such as nitrogen and ear formation in corn or seed head formation in wheat
- Periods of peak demand when the soil cannot provide critical nutrients at the rate required by the crop.
- Rainfall or irrigations when roots forage deeper in the soil profile where soil fertility is generally lower.
- Quality characteristics that are nutrient dependent, such as late season foliar nitrogen on wheat, improve grain protein content.
- Soil conditions are antagonistic to nutrient uptake: cold, wet, dry, high pH, calcareous, etc.
The greatest opportunity for a positive return on foliar nutrition at this point in the 2022 growing season is foliar NDemand® on corn that has good soil moisture and is short on N from cut backs due to high prices or early season losses from too much rain.
Introducing NDemand HIGH END® 26-0-0 with 0.26% chelated zinc and manganese, 0.06% chelated copper, and 0.26% boron. Presented here are the results of 60 independent research trials applying 1 gallon NDemand HIGH END at V5. Each bar represents the yield gain of the grower standard with NDemand HIGH END treatment compared to the grower standard alone. 60 trials with an average win rate of 83% and an average yield gain of +7.3 bu/acre!