Crop Leaf Analysis Part 2
Our last blog spoke of the benefits of leaf tissue testing. An important part of Nutrient Management
Why is Leaf Tissue Testing Important?
This tool in our cropping programs is very much underutilized and farmers are missing out on valuable information and a means of improving health and productivity of crops and pastures.
Here at Soil Management Systems we term it as ‘fine tuning the crops and pastures nutrition during the growing season’.
As with any testing the results are only as good as the samples taken. It is important samples are taken at a time when the crops or pastures are growing well in reasonable moisture conditions, not too many overcast days, no recent frosts or chemical applications.
It is disappointing to see most tissue test results reporting critical rather than desired values. Critical values are at a point where no visual symptoms of a deficiency can be observed. However productive responses are readily attained at much higher values. At Soil Management Systems we report on desired values taken from the Plant Analysis and Interpretation Manual from the CSIRO with decades of research.
If we take an example of the nutrient Zinc in cereals, most reports use a value of 17-20 ppm which are critical values. The desired values are 35-40 ppm and through much research economical responses are shown at these levels.
To see more about Monitoring Plant Nutrition Levels visit The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Link
Phosphorus fixing soils are very common in Australia’s agricultural soils and even with liberal applications desired levels may not be obtained. By foliar applying SMS liquid phosphorus early in the growing season levels are not only increased in the plant but soil phosphorus is stimulated to be more available.
Excess nutrients such as nitrates and iron are also a limiting factor to healthy productive crops and pastures.
Soil Management Systems independent report and recommendations will include the samples ratio of nutrients to another along with the desired ratios. By balancing these ratios with custom blended foliar applications achieves the most cost-effective outcomes.
Soil Management Systems can supply custom blends to suit your comprehensive tissue test report within a week of receiving the results.
Need a diagnosis of nutrient deficiency
If you wish to discuss Leaf Tissue Testing, please call 08 8659 0000 to discuss your options.