Why Foliar Feed?

Published online: Jun 27, 2018 Fertilizer, New Products
Viewed 335 time(s)

Source: Yara

In today’s agricultural climate, efficiency is the name of the game. Rising input costs including fuel, seed, pesticides and fertilizer are driving potato growers to utilize technologies that more economically produce strong returns on the dollars invested.

While there is no substitute for a sound soil fertility program, there are many occasions when applying foliar nutrients is a much more efficient way to meet the crop’s needs at critical development periods. Several factors affect the availability of soil-applied plant nutrients, including everything from mechanical root damage to complex soil chemistry. Even when the soil fertility program is “perfect” a fast growing potato crop can easily out-strip the root system’s ability to extract nutrients from the soil solution causing a latent or fleeting deficiency. Some of the factors that can influence nutrient availability include: 

  1. Soil chemistry tie-up, organic matter, pH, etc.
  2. Immobile nutrients may not be evenly distributed (especially common with micronutrients)
  3. Water must be available at the right time and depth to solubilize and move nutrients into the root zone, yet not so much water that it leaches out very soluble nutrients
  4. Soil temperature may be too low for nutrient uptake, or so high that the plant shuts down
  5. Root damage from insects, pathogens and cultivation 

Yara has a complete lineup of foliar nutrition products to supply any mineral nutrient need your potato crop might have. YaraVita suspension concentrates and wettable powders give prolonged feeding for as long as about a month, while liquids and soluble powders can be used to address more acute needs as they arise or to meet known critical demand periods such as additional phosphorus (P) during tuber initiation and bulking. Yara always recommends tissue analysis and the use of our Megalab database to help guide foliar applications to ensure that the proper nutrients are being applied and to avoid the risk of yield and quality loss due to hidden hunger. Foliar feeding works so well because:

  1. The nutrients avoid the complexity of the soil environment
  2. More precise rate onto the target
  3. Better control of the treatment and timing
  4. Greater efficiency

For more information about foliar feeding your potato crop with YaraVita brand, please contact your crop nutrition dealer or Yara representative.