FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE WITH CROP NUTRITION
Feb 19, 2021
“Remember the importance of balanced crop nutrition,” said John Swanson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location. As crop prices rise, some growers may choose to add extra fertilizer. When fertilizer prices rise, “some may want to cut back on something,” he said.
But there’s value in balancing crop nutrition. “Yield still pays the bills,” said Swanson, so it’s important to not do anything that could adversely affect yields. Consider the barrel in this illustration.
Liebig’s law of limiting factors – depicted with the barrel of nutrients – “reminds us that a plant’s success is determined not by the most abundant nutrient, but in fact by the most deficient nutrient.” That means that a plant will only yield as high as the most limiting nutrient will allow it to. It’s the right nutrients that make the most difference. The ones that the crop/soil/plant needs most.
Focus on the crop-specific nutrients for every field and crop:
· Alfalfa needs potassium and phosphorus, but also sulfur and boron.
· Corn needs nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, but also sulfur and zinc – and maybe boron, too, depending upon the soil.
· Soybeans need potassium and phosphorus – and maybe sulfur, also depending upon the soil.
Talk to your Federated Agronomist to discuss which nutrients your specific fields and crops need before 2021 planting begins – and keep things in balance.