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.

OMEX offers seven primers to optimize micronutrient uptake and maximize seedling emergence and vigour. Each primer in our line is specifically designed to fit the needs of cereal, pulse and oilseed crops. Robust roots and earlier plant maturity are just two of the numerous advantages you’ll see in the crops grown from seeds dressed with a primer.

Super Mn+ improves Manganese deficiency for a greener crop
(a) Glyphosate alone; (b) glyphosate tank-mixed with SuperMn (5% Mn) and (c) glyphosate tank-mixed with SuperMn+ (6% Mn) in MacGregor, Manitoba 2012.

Another boost of nutrition to the seed in those first 30 days can also be achieved through starter fertilizer. One of the advantages of choosing a liquid starter fertilizer over a granular fertilizer is the well-rounded nutrition profile. Every drop of liquid starter contains a homogenous blend of nutrients, unlike most granular fertilizers.

Liquid starters also have lower salt content and are seed safe. Using a liquid starter in row during seeding will provide your crops with readily available phosphorus and micronutrients in the seed row to maximize uptake, promote rapid root growth and accelerate seedling growth.

The three-leaf stage is when indicators of stress may start to become visible on the crop, while it’s ready to receive the herbicide application. Prescribe a high performance foliar with the Stress Reliever Technology to help combat both biotic and abiotic stressors with a nutritional boost that’s immediately available to the crop.

Over many years of use in the field and in our test plots, we have seen a marked difference in the recovery of crops sprayed with a foliar fertilizer tank mixed with pesticides. Foliars can also be applied alone to correct nutrient deficiencies or bridge the gaps caused by the inability of soil to transfer nutrients due to hot and dry or wet and humid conditions.

Applying readily available high performance plant nutrition at the right time, in the right form and at the right place, can take what would have been a good crop and turn it into a great crop. Talk to your OMEX representative today for more information about choosing the OMEX primer, starter and foliar that’s right for your crops.