When asked how important nutrient availability is to his operation, without hesitation, Jack White from central Minnesota said this:
“That [nutrient availability] would rank right up there at number one. You have to feed it [the plant] to make it grow. A healthy plant is what we are after. So I would say that it is number one.”
How was he able to answer with such certainty?
The science behind nutrient availability is, of course, very important. It’s also key for growers and retailers to understand ortho-ortho EDDHA vs. ortho-para chelates, and how certain nutrients can become bound in the soil and consequently unavailable to the plant.
Additionally, it’s certainly important to identify key nutrients, and know in which form the nutrients need to be present in the soil for plant uptake. Furthermore, it’s essential to understand how to identify key nutrient deficiencies in crops, and how these deficiencies can negatively affect crop population and yield.
These facts and figures are important, but what it all boils down to is, simply, that the plants need to be properly fed in order to be healthy. Growers know that, and they are doing what it takes to make sure they’re feeding their crops to the best of their abilities.
We’ve compiled a simple checklist of items for growers to consider when striving to provide crops with the sustenance needed for optimal growth:
- Perform a soil test: Know which nutrients are abundant in your soil, and which could use a boost.
- Take a tissue sample: Compare which nutrients are in your soil with the nutrients that are actually making it to the plants.
- Think about inputs: Do some research to see what’s on the market for your specific needs. Is your plant deficient in phosphorus, but there’s plenty of phosphorus in your soil? Consider a chelating agent that could help unlock the phosphorus that is already present in your soil.
- Choose a starter fertilizer with an in-furrow application program: Your crops will need all the help they can get as soon as the season starts, especially if you’re planting early in cooler temperatures.
- Partner with your retailer: Your retailer’s job is to help you make the most of every season. Use his or her agronomic knowledge to your advantage as they make recommendations.