By Darrell Smith, Farm Journal Conservation and Machinery Editor
Originally published in Farm Journal in January, 2012
Step-by-step guide to identify lacking micronutrients
Micronutrients are essential for plant health. You can apply a micronutrient mix that, you hope, will prevent problems or you can learn to identify the symptoms and treat only if you find a problem. Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie recommends the latter approach.
“Micronutrient deficiencies can be serious—if you have them,” Ferrie says. “But problems with micronutrients usually are driven by some other condition, such as compaction, drought, organic [muck or peat] soils, sandy soils and acid or alkaline soils. If possible, solve the micronutrient issue by fixing the underlying cause.
“The environment tells us where to expect micronutrient issues,” he adds. “Elsewhere, it’s rare to find a problem.”
Neither crop scouting, soil testing nor tissue testing is sufficient, by itself, to diagnose a micronutrient deficiency. It requires a combination of all three.
Take the detection process step by step, Ferrie says.
For more information: http://www.agweb.com/article/micronutrient_deficiency_detection/