Farming is a science. Understanding the way that nutrition, weather, soil conditions and seed type interact to produce a crop requires an incredible depth of knowledge.
Since the most crucial factor in farming (weather) is uncontrollable, the most successful growers are those who learn as much as they can about the factors that they can control, and then use that to their advantage.
A great example of a controllable factor in farming is crop nutrition. Knowing which crop nutrients are needed, at what rate, time and method of application can be game-changing knowledge for growers trying to increase yields.
In the following video clip, Dr. Fred Below explains how knowing what makes a nutrient important can help growers manage their nutrition in a way that’s necessary for achieving high yield:
Transcript for Understanding Crop Nutrients
One of the big problems is that not all crop nutrients are used at the same rate at the same time, so there is no one size that fits all. Understanding and placing them in the proximity of the root system helps make sure that they are absorbed by the plant and that the plant uses them for growth.
There are a lot of crop nutrients, but I talked about my six favorites that I think are necessary to grow high corn yields. I showed both the amount required to produce, and the amount removed with the grain.
Then I talked about my criteria, what makes me excited about a particular nutrient. Either it has a very interesting pattern of uptake (the micronutrient boron fits into that category), or the plant needs a lot of it in a short time (potassium fits that criteria), or, my most important criteria is, that it has a high grain requirement. For growing crops to have a lot of grain, then those nutrients where most of the plant takes up ends up in the grain have to be important. That’s where nitrogen phosphate, sulfur and zinc come in.
Understanding what makes a nutrient important, why it’s important, this gives the grower the chance to manage them accordingly.