Almost All Alfalfa Hay Fields Are Short This Nutrient
According to WinField United, the company has taken and analyzed 410,000 plant samples over the years, including 92,775 samples in 2016. The company says it has spotted several crop-specific deficiencies through this effort.
WinField collected these samples through its NutriSolutions 360 program, which it says can help farmers make corrective actions in-season rather than accept a yield loss from nutrient deficiencies.
Here are six trends in particular that WinField spotted.
1. Corn was deficient in zinc, potassium and nitrogen. About 62% of the corn samples Winfiled took were low in zinc, while 68% were low in potassium and 66% were low in nitrogen. Manganese, sulfur and boron levels were also low in more than half of the 2016 samples.
2. Soybeans were deficient in potassium. About 78% of soybean tissue samples showed low potassium levels, while 53% were lacking in manganese and 42% were short copper.
3. Wheat was deficient in micronutrients. Nearly all (90%) of 2016 wheat samples came up short in chlorine, and zinc, magnesium, copper and potassium shortfalls were also relatively common, according to WinField.
4. Cotton was deficient in potassium. Most of the samples taken showed low levels. Bolls development and filling requires a lot of this nutrient, according to WinField. Boron and calcium deficiencies showed up in about half of the samples.
5. Alfalfa was deficient in calcium and magnesium. More than 93% of the samples from 2016 showed low levels of calcium, which puts plants at risk for root growth inhibition and poor plant development.
6. Corn silage was deficient in several nutrients, including phosphorus, manganese, nitrogen and zinc. According to WinField, corn silage can remove more nutrients from the soil than corn grain.
“Plant health is dynamic, and nutrient availability is based on localized conditions and management practices,” WinField adds.