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Think Different: Beyond deficiencies
Nick Constant, a Williamsville, Ill., farmer, says he’s seen an average gain of 2-3 bu./acre in soybeans and 4-5 bu./acre in corn with micronutrient use in their all non-biotech soybeans and biotech corn.
Micronutrients are essential for plants to complete life cycles, say university fertility specialists, just as important as N, P and K. “But whether or not micronutrients need to be added to individual fields or even parts of fields is open for discussion. Deficiencies are not common and often are related to soil type,” says Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois soil fertility specialist.
Nick Constant decided to try foliar micronutrient applications on the family's corn and soybeans five years ago after seeing company field trials near their Williamsville, Ill., farm show that they might pick up a few bushels.
"We don't have any nutrient deficiencies, but the yield data indicated we would see a return on our investment," says Constant, who farms with his father Bruce.
Over the last five seasons, he’s seen an average gain of 2-3 bu./acre in soybeans and 4-5 bu./acre in corn with micronutrient use in their all non-biotech soybeans and biotech corn. They apply a product called Brandt Smart Trio that includes zinc (Zn), manganese and boron in a post-foliar spray tank-mixed with glyphosate in corn and Flexstar/Fusion in soybeans.
"The herbicide application in the soybeans causes some leaf burn," he says. “The micronutrient application seems to help the soybeans come out of it (leaf burn) sooner. It more than covers our costs. I think micronutrients help the glyphosate formulation in corn work better."