Jason Haegele from WinField United explains the basics of tissue testing, including nutrient uptake and interaction, sampling methods, sufficiency levels, and how to interpret results.
The Yield Game & Nutrient Management
To increase yields, better in-season management is needed
Today, optimal fertility (and high yields) is gained by:
Tissue testing and applying specific essential nutrients at optimal growth stages
How does tissue testing help with maximum nutrient uptake?
Simple, effective tool for understanding crop nutrient needs
Measures nutrient levels in the plant throughout the season whereas soil tests measure at one point in time
Insights drive quick nutrient adjustments before visual symptoms appear to affect yield
How to tissue sample
Be crop specific, different crops require different sampling times for optimal results
Choose optimal leaves
Sample between 30-35 plants
Use healthy tissue
Collect a specific amount of plant material
Randomize the plant selection process
For Soybeans: Sample at V3-V5 and twice between R1 and R4 at the uppermost fully open mature trifoliate leaf, remove petioles
How to Understand the tissue test report
Deficient range is the zone where you can expect visual deficiency symptoms. Depending on the growth stage, yield reduction may have already occurred. Fertilizer may halt further decline, but lost yield will probably not be recovered
Responsive (low) range is the low part of the sufficiency zone where yield reduction is expected, but visual deficiency symptoms are not yet present
Adequate (sufficient) range is the target zone, the goal is to manage fertilizer applications to obtain the middle of this range
Excessive range indicates a severe imbalance that may lead to toxicity and the death of the plant
In-season nutrient management examples show that applications of micronutrients at the optimal time allows for larger ears of corn and higher yields
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development and utilization efforts while the membership program supports the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level, through the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education with the vision of becoming a market leader in sustainable soybean production and profitability.