Spring (uh, make that Winter?) Planting in the Mid West.
You think? Between drought last year and starting off with heavy and persisting snow, together with some flooding this year – in addition to cold, soggy soil, many growers don’t know what to do – or expect – next. If it doesn’t snow or rain within the next few weeks, the soil may dry out enough to plant. According to Stu Ellis of www.FarmGateBlog.com, only about two percent of the Nation’s corn crop had been planted as of April 15th.
You can see his whole story and a lot more at:
With the bizarre weather patterns we’ve been recently seeing, maybe better not bank too much on longterm forecasts… And who can tell for sure what the growing season will be like or how long it will last?
For corn, the planting window was very short – and it looks like this year may also be a pretty short growing season as well. So -
Ideally, aside from changing the weather, we need to develop healthy crops as rapidly as possible after planting and accelerate their maturity – now, more than ever.
Why? Because a healthy plant with a strong root system is much more able to withstand the stresses of adverse weather (as long as heavy floods, hail and tornadoes are not involved) and disease pressures.
Incredibly, proper plant nutrition and a biological inoculant can be the answer to making an excellent crop – even in these times. While many of the functions of biology are still unknown, one thing that has been observed is suppression of disease and another is accelerated development of the plant.
An increase of three or four degrees in soil temperature due to soil biological activity has also been observed – important in the Spring for early emergence and in the Fall if the crop is still growing – especially in northern climates.
Here are several examples:
A Case Study: Idaho Sugar Beets.
While you may not grow beets, here is a photo we were just sent from an Idaho grower that demonstrates typical response by most crops. These plants were all planted on the same day -
Why is there a difference between these seedlings?
The grower took this photo with his cell-phone, with the sprouts sitting upon the seat in his pickup.
1. Untreated and “conventional” fertilization.
2. Our soil fertility recommendations and treated with a Bio-S.I. biological soil inoculant.
3. Treated with another brand of biological inoculant. Note the developmental difference between 1 and 2. Fertility recommendations and biological inoculants aren’t equal.
Why Are We talking About This?
While we do not generally talk about specific brands, the differences seen in this photo are too striking to ignore. In these untreated plants, rhizoctonia has infected the roots and the plants were likely doomed.
If the field is left untreated, rhizoctonia would likely ruin or seriously damage the entire crop as it has done here.
But here is a beet that that was initially infected with rhizoctonia but then treated with a Bio-S.I. product. The crop was saved with minimal loss.
Here is the commentary, verbatim, that our Technical Director included with the first photo:
“These are sugar beets in Idaho.
The first two are untreated areas. If you look closely at the roots, you can see where the rhizoctonia has infected the plants and will probably kill them.
The next two bigger and healthier plants have been treated with Bio-SI and show no signs of infection.
The last plant is [was treated with] the competitor’s [product and] planted on the same day. As you can see, [it is] well behind the [other] treated plants.
Treating plants with beneficial soil bacteria along with some pop-up fertilizer will increase the plants’ germination and vigor, especially with colder soils like we have this year. Alkaline and/or cold soils impede the uptake of Phosphorous which is essential for a healthy aggressive root system required for [a] healthy fast start.
The beneficial soil bacteria not only releases tied up nutrients but also increase[s] the amount of soil respiration (Carbon Dioxide – CO2) which aids in nutrient release as well. At the same time, a more vigorous healthier root mass will also contribute to more CO2 release, thus leading to more soluble nutrients available for healthier plants. Nature has provided in Carbon Dioxide an excellent solvent for the relatively insoluble forms of nutrients – both those secreted by the plant roots and those formed as a product of soil bacterial processes.
Many fungal and bacterial diseases of plants can be traced directly to malnutrition, or to the failure of the soil to function properly. Certain plant diseases are being overcome by the intelligent use of some commercial fertilizers, organic manures and the use of soil inoculants. In livestock, too, it is becoming more and more evident that nutrition plays an important part in susceptibility to disease.
Noel Garcia, CCA
VP of Operations and Technical Director”
Another Idaho (Starting) Case Study: Corn.
Yesterday (Tuesday, April 14th), we received these photos and they are remarkable because –
…the typical emergence time for corn after planting is 12 to 14 days. These photos were taken FOUR DAYS after planting. Again, here is the verbatim commentary by our Technical Director:
“Above photos are Corn plants in Idaho 4 DAYS after emergence. [A] Combination of [our] acid based [recommended] popup and bio-si].
[The] Story is [that the] farmer asked the consultant to go to his field and check his moisture to make sure it had not dried out after initial irrigation soon after planting. Much to his surprise, when he showed up, the entire field had germinated.
In their climate, [it] usually takes about 12-14 days for emergence. 4 – DAYS. He sent pics to [the] farmer and the farmer had never seen anything like this before… he just did not believe it until seeing [the] above photos.
Noel Garcia, CCA
VP of Operations and Technical Director”
In a telephone conversation with Noel, yesterday, he told this writer that his goal is to make this farmer 300 or more bushels per acre and to hopefully cut several weeks off of his crop maturity time. We’ll keep you updated and see what eventually obtains…
Well, in times of desperation, it seems that folks are starting to pay attention to, and do what we have been preaching for a long time – and what was discovered a long time ago by others.
We do not have some sort of secret, magic, arcane or Gnostic insight – We’ve only continued and expanded upon research conducted by universities and others in the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s – when there were no other motives than to make growers better crops.
To have lasted to now (2013) these 75 years (or three-quarters of a century), as a small and obscure private lab, we suppose that we’ve done a pretty good job of making our clients very successful crops, as our fortunes are tied to theirs.
We’ll put our recommendations up against anyone else’s in side-by-side field trials for any crop in any soil, anyplace.
We don’t get a dime from anyone for mentioning their products.
|Welcome To ASK THE PLANT®
Your solution to the best plant and crop performance
Identifying Visible and Hidden Hunger Plant Nutrition Problems
Petiole (Leaf Stem) and Leaf Testing
Consulting.Order Testing Now!
Your plants don’t need to be very deficient in available nutrients to seriously impact yield and quality.
But money spent on unneeded fertilizers also reduces your bottom line.
And it does not take much excess
of some nutrients to cause
serious crop damage.
While soil tests are essential to getting your crop started, many things can influence how much and what of the recommended fertilizer you put down actually gets into the plant.
Remember that your plants’ nutritional needs are constantly changing throughout the growing season.
The only way you can know and correct nutritional problems before you see them is with ASK THE PLANT®.
The ASK THE PLANT® Method
After you’ve spread that Expensive Fertilizer which your Soil Test Report or Consultant Recommended, What Happens to that Expensive Fertilizer?
Does it all go into your Crop? NO!
There are many factors that influence what of it gets into your Plants. Some of them are:
Exhaustive Petiole or Leaf Testing Dynamically Compensates for the Changing Nutritional Requirements and Provides Recommendations for the Stage of Growth of Your Plants.
|Balanced Plant Nutrition can result in a number of benefits:
The Starting-Point For Ask The Plant® is a Custom, Extremely Accurate and Thorough Soil Test Calibrated Against Actual Plant Uptake that Analyzes Plant-Available Nutrients, together with Field-Performance-Proven Detailed Fertilization Recommendations, Interpretations and Consulting.