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.
One of the foliars I usually recommend is OMEX’s uPtaKe IC, which contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and a micro-nutrient package to supplement a crop’s nutrition when the soil is unable to transfer nutrients. Over the years I’ve seen a real boost in the quality of grain fill in fields treated with uPtaKe IC compared to fields that were not treated.
Another factor influencing the outcome of grain filling is a crop’s ability to complete photosynthesis, a significant contributor toward grain growth. Photosynthesis also relies on a plant having healthy nutrient stores to transfer energy. If your crop is displaying pale-coloured leaves, this is an indicator photosynthesis may be stalling.
To learn more about how you can help your crop handle wet or drought conditions during the grain fill stage, talk to an OMEX plant health professional today.