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Agronomist says nutrient management starts now

Photo courtesy of WinField United

AUDIO: Sara Smelser, WinField United

An agronomist encourages farmers to start thinking about nutrient reduction strategies. 

WinField United agronomist Sara Smelser says building an effective nutrient reduction strategy starts now.

“Have (growers) taken soil samples in the past three years? If not, (they can) go ahead and get soil samples taken to see what’s going on in the soil today and how to move forward in 2018. Also, (they need) to consider what’s their in-season strategy and make sure they’re choosing a hybrid based on their management style,” Smelser said.

WinField United collected roughly 13,000 corn tissue samples this year. The company gathered approximately 2,500 samples during the V5 growth stage. Smelser reports: 91% of those samples contained boron deficiencies, 89% had zinc deficiencies and 60% contained manganese deficiencies.

Smelser says WinField United usually finds such deficiencies. However, reiterates the importance of maintaining proper nutrients in fields.

“Boron is incredibly important for cell wall integrity or the structure of the plant. At V5, you’re getting into the grand growth period, so it’s putting a lot of biomass on the structure. Zinc is important in cell division. Manganese is one of the key nutrients involved in photosynthesis. As you’re moving into the grand growth period, you want to make sure that you have adequate nutrition,” Smelser said.