As we discussed in our previous blog post, plants require large amounts of macronutrients to grow and thrive. The secondary nutrients – calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S) – are just as vital to plant growth and development, though they are required in lesser amounts than the macros.
Plants require a total of 16 nutrients to grow, develop, reproduce and remain healthy. Three of these nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) – are required in relatively large amounts. These are known as macronutrients.
Knowing what makes crops emerge, grow and flourish is one thing; finding the right balance is a whole other story! In this post, the first in our series on the relationship between nutrients, we take a look at what happens when an over-abundance of one element causes a deficiency of another.
2019 marks the 350th anniversary of Henning Brand’s discovery of phosphorus, making this the perfect opportunity to reflect on our relationship with the element: what was our farming like without it, how did it change our current farming practices and how should we manage it to preserve its sustainability?
All crops can be sensitive to heat stress, especially during the flowering stage. Even short periods of heat stress during flowering and grain fill can cause substantial yield losses.
Flowering, one of the most important stages in a crop’s life cycle, often happens during the hottest days of summer. As the plant is shifting the bulk of its energy production to flowering, it must also contend with stress brought on by high temperatures. The resulting water loss at the peak of evapotranspiration forces stomata to close, jeopardizing nutrients and water uptake.