AgroLiquid’s goal is to prosper the farmer while safeguarding the environment. Learn how they are different from any other fertilizer company in the industry today as experts discuss details about their line of high-performance fertilizers formulated with scientifically based recommendations to help growers achieve the best possible production yields while employing sustainable agricultural practices.
Calcium is the third most important element in a plant. And, calcium is the fifth most abundant element on the planet. It makes sense that traditionally, growers don’t apply much calcium, because they assume the plant will get what they need from the soil. But, calcium is usually found in a form that is not easily taken up by plants.
In an apple tree, the leaves, new shoots, and fruit all take calcium and the nutrient will be found in the tissues and the root, but, the fruit cannot compete with the other parts of the plant hence why the fruit often doesn’t get enough calcium. That is why calcium deficiencies are evidenced on the fruit, rather than the rest of the tree. In apples, a calcium deficiency causes a disorder known as bitter pit. Bitter pit is a physiological breakdown of the cell walls in the fruit that occur below the skin of the fruit. For that reason, when scouting for calcium deficiencies, it is important to test the fruit, rather than relying solely on leaf or soil tests.
In this particular trial, Horticulturists were testing for fruit firmness, how many apples produced on each tree, and how much the fruit weighs. At the North Central Research Station High-Density Apple Orchard, researchers test approximately 10 apples per experimental plot for firmness. They use a pentameter, which measures the pressure needed to break the cell part inside the apple. They test four spots on each apple, as research has shown there is a difference in firmness between the side of the apple exposed to sun, versus the shade-side. The average fruit firmness is reported.
A trial of the effects of LiberateCa™ in 2015 at the NCRS High-density Apple Orchard in Michigan showed that the apples treated with LiberateCa™ fall close to the preferred range of 14.5 lb – 17.5 lb for fruit firmness, while the untreated trees’ fruit firmness was significantly higher than desired. In addition, the treated trees had more apples per tree, and overall yield per tree increased as well. These trees were planted at 3 ½ feet between trees, 11 feet between rows, with a planting density of 1,100 trees per acre.
“If you can hang two more apples per tree, with 1,100 trees, you have 2,200 more apples – and that means more money in your pocket.” Horticulturist Jacob Emling
In grapes, a combination of variety, management, and training system dictates how much quality fruit the plant can produce. One of the best options is using fertilizer applied in the spring that can be easily taken up by the vine. Over the last four years, we have been looking at what AgroLiquid products can do on grapes. All fertilizer is soil applied in the spring underneath the vines.
Conventional Program: 12 gallons of 28%UAN + 12.9 gallons of 10-34-0 + 100 lbs. of sulfate of potash.
To determine if an early foliar application to Navy Beans has an advantage in 30” rows over a later application time. Navy Beans have shown over the years in North Central Research Station testing that they respond very well to foliar applications of nutrients such as ferti-Rain which has a blend of primary, secondary and micro nutrients. These applications have typically been made at the flowering or vine stage. In 2012 an experiment, on 15” rows, testing earlier foliar applications showed an advantage at the three trifoliate when compared to the vine stage application. A repeat of that test was made on 30” rows for multiple years of data. All treatments received
the same 2×2 planter applied nutrients. Foliar applications were made at the third trifoliate or the vine stage of the dry beans. Yield results are in the table below.
• The earlier application of 2 gal/A of ferti-Rain at the third trifoliate stage had a small yield advantage over the later application.
• Either timing of a foliar application of ferti-Rain did improve yields over the standard planter applied program without a foliar application.
• A foliar application can be made between the third trifoliate and vine stage as needed with other crop protection products.
Comparison of phosphorus fertilizer method of application for effect on winter wheat yield. How and where you place phosphorus fertilizer for wheat in not as critical as a corn crop. The combination of the seed and row spacing along with the root structure, allows greater flexibility in wheat and other small grains. In the Northern growing conditions of the NCRS there is not a lot of growth that takes place in the fall before the crop goes dormant. This experiment compares a preplant broadcast application, drill-applied, fall foliar application on 2” growth and a spring topdress treatment. The same fertilizer was applied at each timing and included 4.25 gal/A Pro-Germinator, 2
qt/A Micro 500 and 2 gal/A access. All treatments also received a spring topdress application of 28 gal/A High NGR-N.
• As seen in past testing at the NCRS, there is no statically significant difference between the four methods of application.
• With similar results seen amongst all treatments, growers have options on when they can apply their phosphorus in these northern climates. Areas with known low soil phosphorus levels where risk of deficiencies occur, apply nutrients in the fall in order to prevent stress to the crop.
To evaluate the advantages of a Sure-K foliar application on soybean yield. Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers foliar program containing Sure-K has shown continuous yield response over the past year. However, many factors such as soil test levels, environmental conditions and timing play a role in yield response. In 2013 four experiments at the NCRS looked at the benefit of a foliar application of Sure-K compared to an untreated check. These yield
results were also added into a long running summary from around the mid-west that compared the same treatments. With the four experiments from 2013, the summary now includes yield results from 150 experiments from the NCRS, contact research sites and grower’s fields in four different states. 2013 yield and summaries appear on the table below.
• Soil test levels, weather conditions and other factors may influence yield response. Not every comparison shows a benefit.
• In 2013, there is a just over a 2 bu/A yield benefit to a Sure-K foliar application from the 4 locations. However, one location saw a loss, one was nearly even and one had a 10 bu/A increase so there was a lot of variability from one location to the next.
• 150 locations throughout the Midwest from 1997 to date has shown over a 4 bu/A yield increase with foliar applications of Sure-K.
To compare different nutritional sources as foliar applications on soybeans. The application of foliar products should be based on a soil test need which, sometimes, is also to correct a deficiency symptom. The use of ferti-Rain, a well-balanced foliar nutrition, has shown very good results in previous years of testing at the NCRS. This experiment included a ferti-Rain only, ferti-Rain plus Protriastim (PTS), Pro-Germinator and Fase2 treatments. PTS is
a protein cell carrier with a tri-alcohol growth stimulant that boosts the crops ability to store energy which can result in quicker maturity. Fase2 contains N, P and K however it is specifically designed to be foliar applied in orchard crops. So the Fase2 treatment is strictly an experiment. (Note: Due to the high soil test K, the usual soybean foliar Sure-K was not included here). The following table shows the results from this experiment.
• All foliar treatments provided a significant yield advantage over the no foliar treatment.
• Fase2, Pro-Germinator and Protriastim (PTS) all performed well and had a larger yield than ferti-Rain. This yield advantage was not significant.
• Foliar feeding soybeans can provide yield benefits. Choose your nutrients based on soil test needs.
To compare summary yields of ferti-Rain foliar applications on Corn. Each year foliar applications are made to corn at the North Central Research Station to identify potential benefits from these treatments. ferti-Rain is a very well balanced nutritional source from Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer that is designed for foliar applications. It contains N, P and K as well as sulfur, iron, manganese and zinc to provide balanced plant nutrition. Foliar applications with ferti-Rain are safe because of its low salt index. All applications were made with the Hagie high clearance sprayer at 10 gpa, 40-60 psi to provide uniform plant coverage and at temperatures below 80oF. Growth stages varied at
time of application between V5 and VT. A summary of the average yields from experiments conducted between 2007 and 2013 appears in the table below.
• For healthy corn, foliar applications of ferti-Rain have not shown consistent results.
• Concentrate on good planter time programs to maintain healthy, well-nourished corn.
• Foliar applications can show a benefit if a deficiency symptom is being corrected or deemed necessary to aid recovery following an adverse weather effect. (Note: do not make a foliar application to corn that is under drought stress.)
RFD-TV’s Rural America Live will tackle growers’ biggest in-season fertility questions Monday, April 28 at 8:00 pm ET.
Dr. Jerry Wilhm, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers Senior Research Manager, and Galynn Beer, AgroLiquid Senior Sales Manager, will speak about the importance of in-season response and flexibility in any fertility program. The duo will take producers’ pre-submitted and live questions on the air.
Dr. Wilhm has 37 years of experience in agriculture research, 22 of those with AgroLiquid. A native of Oklahoma, he holds a bachelor degree from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Beer has worked in ag sales for 20 years and has been with AgroLiquid for 17 years. Also a native of Oklahoma, he grew up on an irrigated corn and wheat farm in the Oklahoma panhandle. Beer holds a bachelor degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Rural America Live is taking questions now. Click here to have your questions added to the show roster.