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17 Essential Plant Elements

All plants need 17 essential elements to complete their lifecycle.  The first three essential elements are Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, all of which are obtained from the air.  The remaining 14 essential elements are taken up from the soil. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N-P-K) are called the macronutrients because they are required in relatively large amounts. 

Regardless of whether the nutrient is required in large quantities like N-P-K, Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur or miniscule quantities like the micro nutrients (Iron, Copper, Chloride, Boron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Zinc), if the plant does not have a sufficient supply, the growth of the plant will be limited by that least available nutrient.



2016 Nitrogen Trial – What Did We Learn This Year?

At our home farm, again this year, we conducted a corn nitrogen rate trial, looking at various nitrogen rates.  We compared starter fertilizer only with 3 different sidedress rates.  Our corn was planted May 9, and the sidedress was applied July 2 by Colin Clark of Precision Applicators with Y-Drops.  The crop stage at sidedress time was V-10. Between planting and sidedress, our home farm received 4.15 inches of precipitation.

The following is a breakdown of the 4 treatments, associated costs, yields and net returns (excluding other production costs)

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Managing Soil Nutrient Supply

As we begin to think about fall after harvest activities and building our soil nutrient supply for next year to get a jump start on 2017 before winter comes, lets examine 2 approaches to managing your soil nutrient supply: Sufficiency Approach and the Build-Maintenance Approach.


 Graph courtesy of OMAFRA