Norder Blog

Have you tried foliar products?  Have you had success? Foliar applied nutrients have a lot of plant benefits; however application timing and plant need will ultimately determine their impact.

Foliar products address nutrient deficiencies. They also stimulate plant growth, help plants recover from injury, and protect plants against environmental stresses. Foliar Nitrogen applied during reproductive stages can also add a few additional bushels.

The most common foliar applied products are micronutrients and slow release nitrogen fertilizers.  Some formulations may also contain biostimulants, which can be living organisms or more often derived from living organism. Biostimulants are often plant extracts or enzymes identified as key role players in plant functions.

Foliar products are effective at increasing nutrient concentrations within the plant. Foliar nutritional products are not a suitable replacement for soil applied nutrients. Factors including compaction, moisture content, soil temperature, disease pathogens, and insect damage to roots can limit nutrient availability.  This can be especially limiting to micronutrients, which are typically found in very small concentrations in the soil, yet are essential in specific plant functions. The formulation of foliar products is specific for absorption through the plants’ leaves and is quick and effective at correcting many plant nutrient deficiencies. Foliar products work best when used in conjunction with a soil applied fertility plan that addresses key nutrients and soil pH.

Your post herbicide application is a great opportunity to include foliar products.  The right blend of micronutrients and biostimulants can defend against plant injury and speed up the recovery process from herbicide applications.  Micronutrients are co-factors for enzymes that work to metabolize herbicide chemistry within the plant.  The inclusion of foliar products can reduce plant response such as yellow flash, leaf burn, or brittle snap.  Foliar products may also stimulate vegetative growth, promoting canopy development, which can be vital for successful weed control.  Some foliar biostimulant products promote the accumulation of stress reducing agents.  For example, in soybeans these stress reducing agents can assist in pod retention during periods of heat and drought stress.

Fungicide applications are also a great time to use foliar nutritional products.  In corn, boron promotes cellular division, which can reduce kernel abortion and increase kernel size.  Reproductive stages are also a good time for slow release nitrogen applications, not only to provide a potential late season boost but also to promote adhesion of fungicides and insecticides to leaf surfaces.

Whether you need to correct deficiencies, or to enhance or stimulate plant growth and processes, foliar nutrients should be considered as part of your high yield management plan.  Our Agronomy Sales Specialists can assist you in navigating the options and benefits that fit best for your farm.

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