Image Courtesy of Kyle Schafer
Crops demand nutrition throughout the entire growing period, but most of them can’t utilize those nutrients effectively during early development. A shortage of nutrients can lead to significant yield loss and stunted plant development.
How effectively those nutrients are managed in the spring can affect how the crops look in the fall. Weather and other pest and weed influences can also impact crop growth and development, but good nutrient management is essential as crops reach the final stages of growth. As crops move through the grain fill period in the fall, growers need to keep an eye out for nutrient deficiency symptoms.
Keep a close eye on crops in the fall
In 2018, planting was delayed over much of the country due to a late winter thaw and spring storms. But, from what scouting has shown, crops in most areas progressed fairly well. Growers should remember that as their fields move through the grain fill period, many of the nutrients those plant require are necessary during that time.
A few nutrient-deficiency issues that showed up in 2018 include white mold in soybeans and signs of iron deficiency chlorosis, or IDC. A number of soybean acres showed stunted, yellow chlorotic soybeans, which is detrimental to yields in those fields.
Seeing signs of IDC? Start planning for next year
If growers are seeing signs of IDC in their fields in the fall, there isn’t much they can do that year to stop it. However, planning for the next season will be crucial to preventing it from coming back. Talking to their agronomist and ag retailer can help growers set up a plan. Many growers have had success with programs that concentrate on fertilizing the individual plants rather than fertilizing by the acre. By matching the plant’s life cycle with in furrow application, growers can make sure the plants have the necessary nutrients available to maximize their yields.