I’ve been getting e-mails from time to time from PR agencies representing fertility firms touting the benefits of micronutrients. It’s not even sulfur, but things like boron, iron, manganese, zinc, etc.
I had a crop consultant tell me once the reason these are pushed is the markup is astronomical on them. Have you had any such deficiencies? Any responses?
Crops Technology Editor
The only micro I`m really short on is copper, which I could probably correct for $50/acre ...but? Dr Antonio Mallarino from ISU says micros seldom pay in Iowa. I once heard Francis Childs say that he didn`t think micros paid.
But then I`m a disciple of Neal Kinsey that`s big on a complete balanced soil, including all the micros and the Hefty boys that have a yield plot with topguns like Randy Dowdy and their secret micro was manganese which aids in photosynthesis.
The way I look at it, first spend dollars on drainage, then P&K and then God`s way of telling you, that you have too much money is foliars and micros. But all that is after your other ducks are in a row.
I was just talking with a young farmer who is doing exactly that with P and K--pumping up his soil levels so that when prices bounce back he will be in a position to capitalize on that.
I remember a crop consultant friend of mind in Minnesota saying that farmers gripe about the cost of lots of things--seed, fertilizer, machinery, etc--but the thing they never gripe about is the cost of tile, or how much they have installed. It is pretty stunning after a heavy rainfall to see how quickly the water goes down on well-tiled fields.
Hey Gil, I`m yet to see a farmer tear out all his tile and vow to never put any back in again. But like Antonio says in Iowa if you make sure you`re up to snuff on N,P&K, the micros will take care of themselves, coming available when the primary nutrients are in place. I would say though to get #20 of sulfur out there every year and of course calcium. Zinc is something to watch on lighter soils.