Add Tissue Sampling to Soil Sampling For Better Crop Yield Potential

Why Tissue Sampling is Important

Posted: 5/20/2021

As weather conditions vary, it's important for farmers to adjust crop nutrition decisions to compensate. In-season tissue sampling and ag technology tools provide information to help make informed decisions about input applications.

Though soil sampling is a valuable tool, according to Winfield United soil sampling alone isn't always enough. Though soil sampling is an effective and necessary step to determine nutrient levels in the soil, soil fertility doesn't tell the whole story. This is because soil isn't directly producing yield - crops are. Therefore, understanding plant health is key to meeting crop yield potential.

"We know that plant health is directly connected with plant nutrition," said Agronomist Jon Zuk. "So, in addition to soil sampling, it’s crucial to take plant tissue samples to understand how well your crop is taking up nutrients."

Tissue sampling reveals situations that soil fertility tests alone can't, such as when nutrients are sufficient in the soil but have trouble reaching the plant. Once this is known, an agronomy advisor can help identify and solve the problem.

When tissue sampling, it's critical to consider growth stage and field conditions. Sampling for nutrients at the right stages helps ensure you're able to make the best in-season fertility decisions. For example, in corn it's important to sample at three growth stages: V5 to V8, V10 to V15, and VT to R2. The first two samples are the most important, but sampling three times provides reference points to help observe nutrient trends.

Assessing fertility levels in stressed fields is also a way to identify nutrient deficiencies, such as those caused from excessive rainfall or marginal soil. Understanding why challenges exist is the first step to addressing them, and it's important not to assume but rather base decisions on data. This helps ensure more accurate predictions and provides the best return on investment.

Pairing ag technology tools with tissue and soil sampling analysis can provide reliable data needed to recalibrate a crop’s potential. Speak with ProVision Partners today to learn more about the benefits of adding in-season tissue sampling and crop modeling tools to assess the impacts of excessive moisture.

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