Newspaper Page Text
AlB—Lancaster Fanning, Saturday, May 23,1981
Micronutrients, when does it
NEWARK, Dela. Increased
cost of production is forcing far
mers to strive for maximum yields
with the greatest possible ef
This means identifying and
eliminating every limiting factor
Micronutrient needs of crops are
one area of concern for farmers
trying to boost yields without
excessive costs. .
Micronutrients -like boron,
manganese, zinc and copper are
just as essential to plants as
nitrogen or phosphorus, but
they’re needed in much smaller
amounts usually 1 or 2 per acre,
or not much more than a handful.
Because so little is used', the
likelihood of deficiencies is much
less than for the so-called major
nutrients, which are applied in
much greater quantities, says
University of Delaware extension
soil specialist Leo Cotnoir.
Boron has received the most
attention in recent years. Two
pounds per acre of actual boron is
routinely recommended for high
boron requiring crops like alfalfa.
Cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage
and tomatoes have moderate
requirements. One to two pounds
per acre should be applied to these
high cash value crops.
The most convenient was to
apply boron is by mixing in the
proper amount with your other
fertilizer. How much you add will
depend on the rate at which you
expect to use the other fertilizer.
Does it pay to apply boron to
corn? This crop has a low boron
Currently available soil tests
have a very poor track record
when it comes to predicting crop
response to added boron. Plant
analyses do a little better, but
they’re far from infallible. And by
the time *a boron deficiency is
determined, it’s too late to do
anything about it.
Responses to boron are more
likely in very wet years and on
irrigated fields, says the specialist.
When increased yields do occur,
they’re usually in the 4 to 8 bushel
per acre range.
Everything considered, it ap
pears that $2 to $3 invested for
boron may return |lO to $2O in one
out of five years probably more
frequently on high-yielding,
Boron for corn may be mixed
with dry fertilizer or placed in the
nitrogen solution. Use % to 1 pound
Soybeans, snap beans and limas
have very low boron requirements.
These crops seldom respond to this
micronutrient and are easily in
jured by relatively low amounts of
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* - •« -
Apples are in the medium
A requirement range. Boron may be
applied on apple trees as a foliar
spray four days after bloom and
again with petal fall and first cover
sprays. Use V< ounce per tree
under five years, % ounce for trees
five to ten years, and 1 ounce per
tree for those over ten years old.
Manganese deficiency is fairly
common on soybeans. It also oc
casionally occurs on small grains
and com. Deficiencies arc .
associated with high pH and over--
liming, but they can occur at pH
values as low as 5.8.
A soil test will indicate where
shortages can be expected. In most
cases, though, past experience on a
particular field is the best guide.
Some varieties of soybean are
more susceptible to manganese
deficiency than others. It’s usually
best to wait .for deficiency symp
toms to appear. On soybeans these
include yellow leaves with green
veins on newer growth.
To correct this problem, spray
with I pound of actual manganese
in 20 gallons of water. Manganese
sulfate is the material used. It can
be combined with insecticide
Results should be visible in four
to six days. A second application
may be needed in severe cases on
fields with known histories of
especially if there is evidence of
Manganese also can be mixed
with other fertilizer and banded in.
Use 4 to 6 pounds of manganese if
applied this way. This alternative
method may not be as attractive
since it requires more material
and few farmers band fertilize for
Broadcast manganese is not
very effective, says Cotnoir, unless
rates of 40 pounds per acre of
actual manganese are used.
Manganese deficiency on com
results in a generally pale green
color compared to the dark green
of healthy plants. It’s almost
always associated with soil pH
values over 6.0 on loamy sands and
sandy loams. It is seldom en
countered on fine-textured soils
such as loams or silt loams.
Correct with foliar sprays ap
plied m the same way as for
soybeans. Band applications may
be more convenient on corn fields
with known deficiences than in the
case of soybeans.
Where the shortage is not severe,
a band application of an acid
fertilizer may be just as effective
as an application of manganese. A
fertilizer blend containing am
monium sulfate is especially ef
fective because of the high acidity
produced by this material.
Manganese deficiency is oc
casionally observed- on small
grains such as oats' and barley
especially at high pH levels.
Symptoms are yellow streaks
between the veins. A foliar spray of
2 pounds manganese in 20 gallons
of water is the best way to correct
this problem ~
Some people have questioned the
practice of waiting for deficiency
symptoms to appear before ap
plying marc' , ":co. The concern io
Nat’l soybean acreages decrease
while Mid-Atlantic acres rise
ST. LOUIS, Mo. —American
soybean growers plan to plant
157,000 fewer acres than in 1980,
according to a survey released last
Thursday by American Soybean
Association economists Robert
Acton and Parry Dixon.
The decrease means fanners
will plant 69.93 million acres of
soybeans this, spring. In 1980
soybean planted area totaled 70.087
million acres. -
Die survey was a random
sample of growers in 22 major
soybean-producing states con
ducted by a questionnaire mailed
April 6 and telephone follow-up and
verification on May 4 and 5.
The ASA planting intentions
survey indicates a 113,000-acre
increase in soybean plantings over
USDA’s March 1 Prospective
Plantings Report that showed
soybean planting intentions of 69.82
million acres, a .4 percent
decrease from 1900.
USDA March 1 estimates were
used in eight non-surveyed states
to obtain information on total U.S.
The planting intentions have
been divided into five regional
The Eastern Corn Belt states of
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pay to apply them?
that by the time these signs ap-. manure contain all the
pearpSome reduction micrpnutnents. What’s more,
already have occurred.- ' - s decomposing manures probably
There’s no good research
evidence to support this view, says
Ctonoir. On the contrary, available
evidence suggests that correcting
the deficiency when symptoms
appear rather than sooner does not
result in significant yield reduc
tions. This is an area where more
data is needed.
Manures especially poultry
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky,
Michigan and Wisconsin will
produce 20.03 million—acres, a
415,090 acre (2 percent) decrease
The Western Corn Belt states of
lowa, Minnesota, . Missouri,
Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas
will produce 23.16 millidn acres, a
10.000 acre (0.1 percent) decrease
The Mid*South states of
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee
will produce 16.161 million acres, a
211.000 acre (1.3 percent) increase
The Southeastern states of
Alabama, Georgia, Florida and the
Carolinas will produce 8.92 million
acres, a 14,000 acre (0.2 percent)
increase over 1980
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help to make nucronutnents in the
soil available for plant needs. So
it’s not surprising that deficiencies
seldom occur where manure is
Besides being an excellent
source of nitrogen and other major
nutrients, poultry manure may'be
one of the best sources of
raicronutrients, says Cotnoir.
The Mid-Atlantic states of
Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey,
New York, Pennsylvania and
Virginia will produce 1.66 million
acres, a 43,000 acre (2.7 percent)
increase over 1980.
The ASA survey also showed
fanners were planning to plant
84.8 million acres of com: a 1
percent increase of 712,000 acres
over 1980. The Eastern Com Belt
showed the largest acreage change
with an increase of 496,000 acres.
The Western Com Belt showed
htUe change with an increase of
30,000 acres. The Mid-South
showed a decrease of 116,000 acres.
Again, USDA March 1 estimates
were used in the non-surveyed
states to obtain information on
total U.S. com acreage.