Average corn and soybean yields have been on a steady increase for several yields. As a result of that, the plants take more nutrients from the soil. Replenishing those nutrients needs to be considered when making a strategy for the growing season’s crop nutrition.
“About 60 percent of crop yield is dependent on soil fertility,” said Taylor Purucker, crop nutrition lead with the Mosaic Company. “With that much, it’s pretty easy to see why we need to resupply those nutrients every year. I always recommend to start with a soil test because that gives us a good baseline of where our nutrient concentrations are in the soil, and it gives an indication of if we need to apply fertilizer and how much we need to apply to achieve our desired yield potential.”
When crop nutrition is made early, it sets the plant up for success later in the season.
“We never want the plant to have a bad day—oftentimes when we think about the growing conditions in the middle of the season, during pollination and seed set, it can tend to be a little bit warm and dry,” said Purucker. “By setting up a good crop nutrition program, we get those plants off to a really good start. Bigger plants with large root systems help mitigate some of the risks we might encounter during the growing season.”
There have been a few frost events this month. Purukcer says evidence of that frost will be made in the plant tissue, so scouting and testing will be important.
“When we get some of the colder temperatures, it slows down plant growth,” he said. “Taking tissue samples can give us a good indication on what nutrients are being taken up and how much. In cooler soils, we don’t get as much root growth. We need a good, rigorous root system to take up those nutrients, so in cooler soils, we might see a nutrient deficiency because the plan isn’t growing as fast as what it could be to take up those nutrients.”
Learn more about Mosaic’s fertilizer products at cropnutrition.com.