I got a few questions today about plant tissue analysis and what the plan was on this corn field. We have 5 main treatments that we’ll be tracking with plant tissue analysis.
1. 10.5 gallons in-furrow of Sure-K, Pro Germ, and Micro 500.
2. 1.5X rate of treatment #1
3. 2X rate of treatment #1
4. Same as treatment #1 but followed by 10 gallons of Sure-K/Pro Germ at side dress.
5. Same as treatment #1 but followed by 20 gallons of Sure-K/Pro Germ at side dress.
This field is so low in fertility, it will be interesting to see how the trials turn out. When you think about it, though, just looking at the yield data in the fall is not good enough. I want to know WHY there was a difference in the fall. With plant tissue analysis, I can tell exactly why by knowing: when a problem developed, what nutrient caused it, and how I can fix it going forward.
I don’t like putting the big downside risk in black and white, but I’m going to do it here. I apologize to anyone who might be offended. WHAT IF I get hailed out or a disaster happens? I don’t want to have to lose a year and learn nothing. Plus, fertilizer is a big investment so I don’t want to waste any by over-applying. For these reasons, tissue sampling lets me learn today the lessons my field can show me.
If you haven’t done any plant tissue tests before, you could just ask this guy. This is my oldest child, Mason. He had some fun out in a few fields with me this afternoon. Tomorrow’s his last day of school so we should be able to do more together the rest of the summer.
If you don’t get the info from Mason, there’s a great resource at
Tissue sampling only costs $20 per sample, so it’s really cheap. I’d recommend testing the same area for 8 to 12 weeks during the growing season. If you’re already running the math in your head like I am right now, that’s 5 spots times 10 weeks times $20 = $1000 to have data about the nutrient uptake in this particular trial throughout the entire growing season. That is a hefty (pun intended) investment for a 60 acre field. However, that data will help us on 2400 acres of ground, so it’s really pretty small. Plus, we’re spending better than $250,000 on fertilizer, so $1000 to find out if we’re putting on the right amount so we can adjust for next year is really pretty cheap.