High Performance Plant Nutrition at Work

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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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Stress Reduction: How Can Plant Nutrition Help Stressed Crops?

Just like we can’t function at our best when we’re stressed out, crops can’t grow to their full potential and produce their maximum yields when they’re growing in stressful conditions.

It’s estimated that approximately 60 per cent of cultivated soils have nutrient deficiencies or other issues that create stressful growing conditions. Soil that’s too wet or too dry, cold spring temperatures, cold soil conditions, spring frost like we are seeing in parts of Saskatchewan this year and no pre-burn application are all factors that can lead to stressed-out crops. High performance plant nutrition can help your crop cope with stressful conditions and meet yield goals despite these challenges.

To help pulse crops bounce back from stress, I usually prescribe OMEX’s P3, a foliar with advanced calcium nutrition. Use P3 when applying herbicide to help the crop recover, encourage nodulation and advance maturity at the 1-6 node stage for peas and the 1-9 node stage for lentils and chickpeas.

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Prepping for the Season: Thinking About Plant Nutrition

As we inch closer to the first days of seeding, producers across Western Canada continue to think through critical decisions that may make or break the growing season.

Plant nutrition is one of the single greatest factors in the success of developing plants, with the first 30 days of a crop’s growth being crucial for attaining its full yield potential. Missed opportunities due to lack of nutrition in these first 30 days can lead to reduced yields and delay the onset of plant maturity.

Developing plants first feed on the nutrients that are inherent in the seed. Growing in deficient soils or under stress conditions, seeds often have a lower seed nutrient density. Providing high performance nutrition by dressing the seed coat with a primer will give crops an additional kick of nutrients to balance its nutrient density and maximize yields. Priming a seed with nutrition before seeding helps with germination and early root development, giving the crop the best chance to grow to its full potential despite early season challenges like the cold and wet soils that much of Western Canada is facing this year.

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