The corn is tasseling (see article below) and the beans starting to flower; the crops are moving into their reproductive stages. "This is a good time to assess our current plant health and check for any possible deficiencies (or deficiencies soon to come)," said John Swanson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location.
Nutrient deficiencies reduce yields. It follows logically that improving plant nutrition can boost yields. Analyzing the plant tissue reveals what the plants have taken up from the soil, and knowing what the "soil bank" contains, said Swanson, "tells us what we have to work with."
With soil test results in hand, a tissue test is "another [useful] tool in our toolbox," said Swanson. The tissue test provides a "snapshot" that allows growers to "make corrections based on what is [actually] happening in the plants," he said, adding that while the soil is "still the best place to put nutrients for plants . . . we can fix temporary shortages with foliar feeding."
Plant tissue sampling is valuable for this season and next, and the way samples are taken is dependent upon the crop and growth stage of the plant. "It is good to make sure you are sampling the correct portion of the plant to get an accurate test," said Swanson.
Contact your Federated Agronomist to get help with tissue tests, or to answer any questions about nutrient deficiencies.