• Plant Health
  • Dec 10, 2020

Don’t Short Micronutrients in Your Plant Nutrition Plan


Micronutrients are a critical part of an overall nutrient plan for your farm. Even though they’re used in a more nuanced way than macronutrients, they play a significant role in plant growth and development, which can help you achieve greater ROI and yield potential in your corn and soybeans. As you finalize your inputs for next season, use these considerations to weigh how micronutrients should factor into your overall nutrient strategy.


Don’t have the perfect soil? You still need a plan

Do you have acres with suboptimal yield potential due to less-than-ideal soil pH levels or poor drainage? Maybe you have rented ground that you don’t want to invest in heavily. If so, a customized nutrient plan lets you know what those acres are doing, helps you manage those acres appropriately and may even allow you to spend less on nutrients in the process.


With lower-producing acres, I recommend doing a baseline nutrient application for crop removal using production history or any past in-season indicators such as imagery from the R7® Tool. Success with these types of acres isn’t about putting a flat layer of nutrients over them and calling it good. It’s about dialing in to the performance of each acre to help optimize ROI potential. Macronutrients are the primary components here, but with proper monitoring through crop scouting and tissue sampling, micronutrients could still make noticeable differences.

Get nutrient application timing right

All 17 macronutrients and micronutrients are essential to crop growth and production, and most farmers do use micronutrients in some form. But remember that the right micronutrient needs to be used on the right crop at the right time. Work with your agronomist to prepare a comprehensive nutrient plan that allows you to focus nutrient applications to apply what is needed when the plant can use it the most.


Get the right micronutrients to the target

According to WinField® United tissue sampling reports, the micronutrients that proved to be most beneficial to farmers this season in terms of yield response were zinc and boron in corn and manganese in soybeans. Nutrient deficiencies can limit a crop’s ability to develop to its full potential but can be mitigated by proactively developing a fertility plan for next season.


After reviewing in-season tissue sampling and end-of-year soil sampling results with your trusted advisor, find the right micronutrient products to correct any deficiencies on your priority acres. WinField United offers three key micronutrient product lines to address your plant nutrition needs.

  • Lignosulfonates: These are dry products that can be applied in a broadcast, strip till or side-dress manner. Lignosulfonates are naturally occurring compounds derived from plant material. Micronutrients are complexed with lignosulfonates to create a granular product for soil application that helps improve mobilization and nutrient uptake for the plants.

  • MAX-IN® micronutrients: These foliar-applied products are used for in-season nutrient management and can be tank mixed with herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. MAX-IN Ultra ZMB® (with zinc, manganese and boron), MAX-IN Zinc and MAX-IN for Beans are just a few of the products in the portfolio. MAX-IN products contain patented CornSorb® technology to greatly increase the movement of micronutrients through the leaf cuticle and into internal structures.

  • Liquid chelated products: These are typically used for in-furrow or liquid side-dress applications to help increase nutrient efficiency and availability to crops. WinField United offers Citri-Che® micronutrients, which are chelated with citric acid and EDTA, and Ultra-Che® micronutrients, which are fully chelated with EDTA or HEDTA. The chelators in Ultra-Che micronutrients help provide strong, reliable protection against micronutrient soil tie-up.


Products in the WinField United micronutrient portfolio have been tested through the Answer Plot® program, which provides yield data and uptake responses. Testing at the WinField United Innovation Center also offers assurance of product integrity and favorable tank mixability, as well as greenhouse analysis of performance. These are all important aspects of bringing products to market.


What to do in the spring

If you took tissue samples this season, review test results with your agronomist to determine what nutrient needs you may have to tackle in 2021 and when. If you don’t have tissue samples from your farm, talk with your local retailer about accessing a tissue sample data set from your area to find out what micronutrient deficiencies might be evident in your geography.


All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.


Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices, and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results.


© 2020 WinField United. Answer Plot®, Citri-Che®, CornSorb®, MAX-IN®, R7®, Ultra-Che®, ZMB® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

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