The weather is warming, a majority of crops are planted, and it is time for many to start considering what additional nutrients their growing crop might need this year. The Late Spring Nitrate Test (LSNT) and Tissue testing are two powerful tools that can be used to measure the availability of crucial nutrients and help determine areas that could respond to additional applications. These tests can also help determine what application rates will provide adequate nutrients for the remainder of the growth of your crop, and identify areas where additional N will not need to be applied, saving unnecessary costs to ensure the best return on your investment.
LSNT samples are taken at a 12 inch depth when the corn is 6-12 inches tall to measure the concentration of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) in the soil. Many also recommend testing for ammonium-nitrogen at the same time, to capture an analysis of all available nitrogen forms – especially after prolonged cold soil conditions where the conversion of ammonium is still occurring. Corn+Soybean Digest recently published an article with some great information on nitrogen and the LSNT test that you can read here.
Tissue sampling can allow you to monitor your crops for yield-robbing nutrient deficiencies before their effects are noticeably visible. By the time you see evidence of these deficiencies it is often too late to make an adjustment, either the damage is already done or it is too late in the year to correct. Collecting tissue samples early in the season allows you to identify and correct growth-limiting factors and avoid yield loss. Take a minute to read this article by WallacesFarmer about tissue sampling to learn more.
Many areas have experienced a late spring this year with soil temps staying cooler longer than normal followed by unpredictable weather patterns. Consider LSNT in conjunction with Tissue testing to alleviate the uncertainty and maximize your yield.
The experts at SoilView can help you with all of your LSNT and Tissue sampling needs and keep your program as profitable as possible!