Maximize Yield Potential with Foliar Phosphate

Newsletter - May 19, 2020

With crop planning completed and seeding underway, now is the time to begin thinking about ways to protect your yield potential with proactive foliar nutrition. You’ve done everything to get your crop off to a great start. You have planned and placed your phosphate fertilizer carefully with the goal of availability throughout the growing season. But is that enough? Could there be situations or circumstances that compromise your crop's ability to access the applied phosphate and, as a consequence, not achieving its full potential?

Let's start by identifying what situations that reduce nutrient availability and, potentially, reduce yield:

  • pH – that soil could have a very acidic or basic pH which is causing limited uptake of phosphorus
  • Cooler soil temperatures – impacts the availability of P
  • Fertilizer placement – too far away from the roots and can’t access quickly
  • Limited root exploration – roots are not actively searching for P
  • Soil moisture – impacts of it being too wet or too dry causing limitations in P uptake by plant
  • Heat stress – too hot causing plant to slow its nutrient uptake 
  • Peak demand – not enough nutrient available at certain time to satisfy crop needs 

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While we recognize that many of the circumstances impacting a crop's ability to access nutrients are out of the growers' control, there are steps that can be taken to minimize their impact and allow the crop to reach its highest profitable yield potential.

An excellent way to ensure season-long nutrient access is through the use of foliar nutrition. In this case, foliar phosphorus can be used as a tool to help alleviate stresses or top up crop demand. Phosphorus is essential for strong healthy root development and it is used continuously throughout the growing season for the plant to maximize photosynthesis. Phosphorus is a key component of ATP, which is energy for the plant. Providing additional, easy to access, phosphorus makes it easier for the plant to produce ATP when the soil available phosphate is limited or during periods of crop stress.

By no means should this be considered a replacement for good soil fertility but, when used correctly, foliar nutrition can be an integral part of a 4R’s approach to crop nutrition. Ensure your crop is able to reach its full potential by delivering phosphorus and other key macronutrient and micronutrients most commonly deficient in Western Canada using YaraVita® FLEX™.

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Cody Vogel
Cody Vogel
Regional Sales Manager