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Leafy solution: Why foliar feeding of nutrients is an efficient way to meet crop needs

Related image“In today’s agricultural climate, efficiency is the name of the game. Rising input costs including fuel, seed, pesticides and fertilizer are driving potato growers to utilize technologies that more economically produce strong returns on the dollars invested.” So says Jimmy Ridgeway (Crop Manager –  Potato at Yara North America) in the latest toppotato newsletter. Foliar feeding is a technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to their leaves. Plants are able to absorb essential elements through their leaves. Ridgeway writes that while there is no substitute for a sound soil fertility program, there are many occasions when applying foliar nutrients is a much more efficient way to meet the crop’s needs at critical development periods. Several factors affect the availability of soil-applied plant nutrients, including everything from mechanical root damage to complex soil chemistry.

Even when the soil fertility program is “perfect” a fast growing potato crop can easily out-strip the root system’s ability to extract nutrients from the soil solution causing a latent or fleeting deficiency. Several factors can influence nutrient availability during crop development. Read the full newsletter

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