High Performance Plant Nutrition at Work

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Why pay attention to phosphorus when sowing into cold, wet soils?

During the fall of 2016, much of the Prairies experienced heavy rain and the ground remained saturated until winter. The arrival of unseasonably warm weather this spring is tempting many farmers to seed early, as they look to maximize yield potential and help manage the workload associated with seeding large acres. Those who have crops left in the field are even more anxious to get started, as dealing with swathed or still-standing crops will delay their seeding operation.

Farmers are seeding into cool or cold soils and often into wet conditions, which don’t allow for much availability of phosphorus, potassium or zinc, and this trio doesn’t become available until the soil temperature warms up to above 12 or 15 degrees Celsius. If they are seeding early, I believe the best thing farmers can do to get their crops off to a good start is to use a primer on the seed and a starter fertilizer in-furrow with the seed. This tactic is especially important this year as saturated soils are going to be slow to warm up.

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Product Spotlight: Starters

Liquid starters give developing seeds a boost of readily available nutrition in the seed row – providing nutrients like copper, phosphorus, potassium, manganese and zinc to aid with early root establishment, advanced crop maturity and good overall plant health. If your soil tests have indicated that you are facing a nutrient deficiency or are dealing with other less than ideal conditions, you should consider using a starter.

Liquid starter fertilizers offer a number of benefits over their granular counterparts. Unlike many granular fertilizers, every drop of liquid starter contains a homogeneous blend of nutrients, providing a balanced nutrient profile across the entire seed row.

Liquid starters also bring nutrients closer to the seed. According to Michigan State University, when using granular fertilizer, nutrients that aren’t very mobile in soil, like phosphorus, can’t get closer than the individual granule they’re contained in. But when applied in liquid form, these nutrients are better spread, making it easier for developing roots to access the nutrition they need to grow.

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Nutrient Management Programs

The most critical stage in establishing a plant’s yield potential is in The First 30 Days®. Start your season off strong.

The FINAL 30 Days® consists of nutritional management programs to enhance fill and quality of grain and oilseed crops.