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gil.gullickson
Veteran Contributor

Micronutrients

All,

I'm getting calls from pr agencies about all the benefits of micronutrients like zinc, boron, manganese, etc. Ever had any deficiencies with these on either corn or soybeans? I sat in on a presentation by Antonio Mallarinio at Iowa State, and on severely eroded soils or such conditions, it might make sense. But he didn't think ordinarily there was much of a response for these. Better to concentrate on N, P, K, and maybe sulfur. 

 

Gil Gullickson

Crops Technology Editor

Successful Farming 

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3 Replies
WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: Micronutrients

Might be a good site poll question, if you can figure out how to word it.  I agree with Antonio Mallarinio, but what do I know, I farm for some annual profit, not just maximum yields.

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Micronutrients

When I soil sample, which I do on 2.5 or 5 acre grids, depending on various things, I have about every 4th sample analyzed for micronutrients.  I base my micronutirientn decision on that.  So far, I've not found them deficient enough to need to add them.

 

Keep an eye while scouting.  Get the ISU extension agronomist to come look once a year.  If you see any evidence of micronutrient deficiency, base future decisions on that.

 

I see it as a multi-year process of observation and decision.  I'd rather bank the P&K than build up the micronutrients, absent a demonstrable shortage.

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Micronutrients

I always add a small amount of micronutrients to my preplant blend as a dry spread.  Some of my soils were neglected for many years with only NH3 being applied but if I can continue to add to the base saturation of all my soils each year I figured I'm on the right track.  In this area it is hard to tell if they are beneficial or not unless you split small fields into application plots.  Generally rain is our wild card on whether we have a crop to harvest or not.  Once I get all my fields built backup to the level where my fertilizer program is at a maintaining level instead of a building level I might consider some strip testing.

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