As seed genetics, farming practices and technologies become more sophisticated, it’s no surprise we’re also seeing an increase in trendline yields for crops like corn and soybeans. New seed varieties, while more efficient in their nutrient uptake, may lead to an overall increased requirement for more nutrients due to the yield output. Ultimately, increased yields mean increased nutrient needs, uptake and removal from the field.
So, what steps need to be taken to prevent soil depletion and ensure your crop has the nutrients it needs for success?
Setting Your Crop Up for Success
Setting your crop up for success begins with taking a soil sample of each field to get a baseline of where macronutrient levels sit post-harvest. However, soil sampling tends to be less reliable for micronutrients. In this case, an alternative could be to replace harvested nutrients to avoid soil depletion. Combining this information with crop nutrient removal, soil pH, and what crop will be planted next season will help determine what nutrients, micro or macro, need to be replenished to continue to meet yield goals.
Using a crop nutrient removal calculator like the one found on the United State Department of Agriculture’s website or referencing a nutrient removal chart for micronutrients like the one from Alabama Extension can show the amount of nutrients removed from the field at harvest which need to be replaced. It is good practice to utilize this information to ensure that soil nutrients are not being depleted over time.
Ensuring the proper amount of nutrients are available to the crop at the right time and right place is crucial to help overcome nutrient deficiencies and phenomena like hidden hunger and transient deficiencies.
Take PROTIVATE™ nutritional seed enhancer, for example. PROTIVATE is designed to provide crops the nutrients needed for early season growth by applying the solution directly to the seed. By placing nutrients directly on the seed, the crop is getting what it needs to promote early season growth and emergence, during a time when nutrients may be hard for roots to access.
Another solution designed to provide crops the needed nutrients is WOLF TRAX® DDP® micronutrients. WOLF TRAX application rates meet crop removal requirements to deliver the right amount of micronutrients, distributed uniformly with dry fertilizer, to crops during critical times during the season. In addition, multiple forms of each micronutrient go into each formulation, providing immediate nutrient uptake and continuous feeding during critical growth stages.
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