High Performance Plant Nutrition at Work

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Water Hardness and Desiccation

Earlier this season, we examined how hard water can impact your burn-off and in-season spraying. The impact of hard water doesn’t end there – it can also affect crop desiccation later in the season.

Hard water and high pH levels tend to go hand-in-hand; if water for tank-mixing desiccants is very hard chances are it also has a high pH level. These two factors will reduce the efficacy of the herbicide and this can result in slower drying times for your crops and a delayed harvest.

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Wet or Drought Conditions; Grain Fill and Quality

Grain filling is a crucial stage in a plant’s development, and the success of grain filling can play an important role in determining final grain yield. For successful grain filling, crops require a healthy balance of nutrients and good environmental conditions. But as we know, ideal conditions can sometimes be hard to come by. Overly wet or drought conditions at this time of year can both have significant impacts on the quality of a crop’s grain fill.

Both waterlogged and dry soil conditions can deprive plants of the nutrients they need at this critical time, which may cause deficiencies. If crops become nutrient deficient during the grain filling stage, the grain may not be able to develop to its full potential, and yields will be negatively impacted.

When wet or drought conditions persist during your crop’s grain filling period, a foliar fertilizer is usually recommended. A foliar can mitigate damage crops sustain from deficiencies in soil-supplied nutrients. By providing nutrients straight to the plant’s leaves, you can bypass the issue of waterlogged or too-dry soils tying up nutrients, and provide the crop with nutrition it can begin using immediately to help improve grain filling.

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Manyinga Field Update

With the growing season in full bloom, I touched base with Manitoba producer Art Enns for an update on the canola field we’ve partnered with him on in support of the Manyinga Project.

Enns will donate the proceeds from 40 acres of canola toward the Manyinga Project, which supports two schools for orphaned and vulnerable children in the Manyinga region of Zambia, Africa. Along with the state curriculum, the children learn the agricultural skills they will need to support themselves, as subsistence farming is the primary way of life in the Manyinga region.

OMEX partnered on the project with a contribution of High Performance Plant Nutrition Products to help maximize yields and, ultimately, the proceeds from this field. 20 acres were treated with OMEX products, and 20 acres were left as our check. When I gave Enns a call, I was happy to hear how impressed he was with his crop’s growth so far.

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You’re Invited to OMEX’s 2017 Field Day

OMEX is hosting an informative and fun field day in Manitoba on July 18th! Join us for an in-depth look at High Performance Plant Nutrition at work, a drone demonstration and more. Since no one can enjoy time spent in the field on an empty stomach, the field day will also feature a BBQ lunch at the Morrison Sports Park in Oakville.

The day’s agenda will include an exclusive look at OMEX Primers, Starters, Foliars and our new Perfuze product line. We’ll be sharing our findings from the numerous trials we run with these products, to help you make the most informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right blends to meet the nutritional needs of your crops.

We’ll look at the effects High Performance Plant Nutrition Products can have on a wide range of crops including wheat, canola, soybeans, peas, barley and oats. This is a great opportunity to compare notes with other producers and consult with OMEX Plant Health Professionals about High Performance Nutrition solutions for your crops.

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The Role of Nutrition in Promoting Healthier Crops

Well-balanced nutrition plays a key role in crop growth and development. There are many micronutrients essential for plant growth including boron, calcium, copper, manganese and zinc. However, deficiencies, biotic and abiotic factors can inhibit a crop’s ability to take in the nutrients it needs.

For example, high pH soils, high organic matter soils or light textured and sandy soils are all prone to zinc deficiency. Crops growing in zinc deficient soils may exhibit stunted growth and small or misshapen leaves. To help supplement zinc deficiency and promote robust crops, I recommend OMEX’s Zintake, a foliar fertilizer with high concentrations of phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

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Using Micronutrients in a Liquid Blend

To attain high yields, crops require a balanced ratio of macronutrients (NPK – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and micronutrients (zinc, copper, manganese, iron, boron, etc.) The correct amount of some nutrients and the limited supply of others can create imbalances and reduce yield potential.

However, the higher the yield a crop produces, the more nutrients it takes out of the soil. Today’s high-yielding crops remove more nutrients from the soil than ever, leading to issues of nutrient availability.

Weather also plays a part, with most micronutrients virtually unavailable in the cool/cold temperatures and wet soil conditions which are typical of spring across Western Canada. Using a liquid starter fertilizer at seeding time can help correct micronutrient deficiency in the soil, preventing common early-season deficiencies in crops and improving yields.

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Reducing Heat Stress with Boron

Hot conditions in the prairies often coincide with crops gearing up for flowering. During this reproductive stage, the crop has an increasing demand for boron. Unfortunately, boron is immobile in the plant and cannot be stripped from vegetative tissues to fulfill the transient peak of demand of the flowers.

Boron is a key nutrient to successful pollination. When the conditions become hot and dry or hot with a high level of relative humidity, boron translocation becomes jeopardized. This can lead to a poor extension of the pollen tubes resulting in misses in the pods. We often hear about ‘heat blast’ or ‘pod abortion’, which a direct consequence of boron shortage at flowering time. Heat also shortens the flowering period and affect the activity of the pollinators

So, what can you do? Beat the heat with boron!

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OMEX Supports Local Producer for International Benefit

Dr. Abdel El Hadrami at Art Enns's Manyinga Project-supporting canola field

We at OMEX believe in supporting agriculture education and the dedicated people around the world who help deliver it. In this spirit, we are proud to be a partner of the Manyinga Project, supporting Manitoba producer Art Enns in his effort to grow 40 acres of canola, the revenue from which he will donate to the project.

The Manyinga Project operates two schools for orphaned and vulnerable children in the Manyinga region of Zambia, Africa. Along with the state curriculum, the two schools teach the children to grow field crops, fruits, vegetables and to raise goats – all crucial life skills they will need to support themselves, since subsistence farming is the primary way of life in the Manyinga region.

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Help Minimize Hail Damage with Foliar Nutrition

You can follow every recommendation and do everything by the book, but there’s one factor no one can control – and that’s the forces of nature. Hail is one such environmental factor that can cause significant physical damage to your crop.

Leaf tissue that’s been damaged by hail can’t take in sunlight to effectively complete photosynthesis, and energy production in the crop will stall, impeding growth. Physical damage also leaves plants more vulnerable to diseases and insects. Depending on the severity, a hail storm can significantly stunt plant growth and set back yields.

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Nutrient Deficiency – Symptoms and Solutions

Crops require essential nutrients for healthy development and optimal growth. Various physiological functions such as photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, root growth and flowering all rely on nutrients. When plants don’t have enough of a specific nutrient they may display a range of symptoms, varying from morphological impairments (i.e. stunting), to chlorosis or necrosis, to premature seed set and ripening.

Deficiency in any given nutrient comes with the presentation a specific symptom or combination of symptoms. The expression and severity of symptoms varies, depending on how long the crop is left deficient.

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