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Foliar Nutrition as a Maximizing Yield Strategy​


Applying foliar nutrients gives you the ability to apply nutrients the plant needs as it is

developing. Plants have increased demands for certain nutrients during growth stages. Applying

the foliar nutrients at the ideal time and in the appropriate form, improves plant health and

development to increase overall crop yields.


Foliar nutrition should be an important part of your overall crop fertilization strategy to

maximize crop yields. Be proactive with foliar nutrition rather than just using it to fix a problem.

If you wait until you see a nutrient deficiency, a large amount of potential crop yield will have

already been lost.


Best Timing for Foliar Nutrition

Foliar nutrition is different, but equally important to applying nutrients to the soil. Applying foliar

nutrients gives you the ability to apply nutrients in a form that a plant can very easily take up

and utilize. Usually these nutrients are also needed in much smaller amounts, so it allows you to

apply them on more of a prescriptive basis and at a time when the plants especially need these

nutrients for early growth or reproduction. Foliar nutrient applications can also be timed for

when the plants have rapid demands for specific nutrients either due to soil or weather



There are some very critical times throughout the year when foliar applications are the most

beneficial. Timing will vary across crops and geographies, but a key time to focus on foliar

nutrition is around the plant’s reproductive time, closer to pollination and seed set. With

soybeans, you want to target the flowering and early pod set. By helping the soybean plants

retain more pods and maximize pod set, growers could see a nice increase in soybean yields

come harvest time.


With corn, zinc is a micronutrient that is important during early growth and the grain filling

stage. There is an increased demand for the micronutrient boron at pollination. By making sure

that the plant has sufficient boron, is a great way to help with corn pollen formation and to

encourage pollen tube growth. By applying boron as a foliar application, you can help the corn

plant pollinate more kernels on each year, even with some environmental stresses during the

season. Boron is also an important nutrient for alfalfa.


Foliar nutrient applications can often be combined with herbicide, insecticide or fungicide

applications to gain efficiencies with regards to labor and not having to make additional passes

across the field. For example, you can target copper on wheat before flag leaf application as it

fits nicely with the early fungicide program that is taking place at that time. Planning in advance

is so important because it helps you time nutrient and crop protection applications together as



Foliar Nutrients Solutions Provide Multiple Options

Foliar nutrition can help improve a crop’s yield potential, even with tougher or more adverse

conditions. While we can’t control the weather, we can build a fertility program to help crops

perform better with the conditions that exist within the growing season.

Source: http://inthefurrow.com/appply-foliar-nutritions-to-maximize-nutrient-plant-uptake-and-yield

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