Foliar Feeding.. Why do it? – John Viertel

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Foliar Feeding.. Why do it? – John Viertel


Planting has been going pretty smoothly all over the state of Missouri, with a lot of the corn in the ground (emergence looks pretty good) and soybeans are going in now. So now, the focus is going to be finishing planting corn and getting the rest of the soybean crop planted. Then post emergent herbicides on both crops. That brings us to why the foliar products are listed in this blog?

First, TIMING of foliar feeding! In everything that I have read concerning producers that are acheiveing high yeilds, both in corn and soybeans, they are ustilizing a foliar fertilizer. Most of the time, in the articles, they usualy don’t mention the timing of the application. In corn, FOLIAR OPP for Corn should be applied to V-3 through V-5 corn, for an early foliar feeding. Then it can be applied again when your aerial application of fungicide. Max 72 SRN or 2075 SRN can be applied anytime that a herbicide application is made. Of course, they could be applied with the aerial application of fungicide, also.  

Soybeans benefit from the FOLIAR OPP for legumes when they get foliar fed anytime from V-3 through V-5 before the beans start blooming. This application will help keep the internodes closer together, put on more bloosums, and then help them retain those bloosums. Then it is up to Mother Nature to help put on the pods and fill them out. The second applications of the FOLIAR OPP can be made with an fungicide application at 90% pod set, to help retain those pods and to fill them out.

One of the great things about a Liberty herbicide program, is that FOLIAR OPP along with either MAX 72 or 2075 SRN’s can be added to the program. Not only will they provide those foliar nutrients to the crop, they also help the Liberty work better.

Second, when a foliar fertilizer is applied to a growing crop, it has to be absorbed into the plant and translocated throughout that entire plant (leaves, stems, and roots). That is why we always recommend using either our SOIL BOOST PLUS or SOIL BOOST EXTREME to only buffer your spray water, but to also help with the translocation because they are formulated with translocation agents in them. Then there is our recommendation of LANDOIL. In organic chemistry, “LIKE likes LIKE”. In other words, LANDOIL is a plant based surfactant being applied to a plant, the plant recognizes this and will readily accept the foliar fertilizer into its sysetem, helping the fertilizer be moved throughout the plant more efficiently.

Third, foliar feeding is not a new idea. Research has been done using a radioactive isotope to track the movement of the foliar fertilizer though the plant. Once it absorbed into the leaf, it will be translocated through out the entire plant. Anything which helps that translocation process is going to be  a benefit to the program. Both of our SOIL BOOST products have already been mention, as well as LANDOIL. SUGAR E-BOOST is another of our products that will benefit any spray program. Using SUGAR E-BOOST with a herbicide or foliar feeding program makes good sense (for not a lot of investment). SUGAR E-BOOST is like giving you crop a dose of “liquid sunshine”. And, what does sunshine do? Photosynthesis in the plant! This is producing energy in the plant, making it not ony more efficient with the foliar fertilizer, but being more efficient in taking up water and nutrients from the soil through the root system. If that plant is more efficient in doing this, it is going to be more STRESS TOLERANT  as we get into the more hot and dryer times this season.

 Fourth, tissue testing during season is also a big help, but it needs to start early, and it needs to been done often. Usually, when you see a problem in your field its to late to correct it. Tissue testing throughout the season can help pinpoint issues that can be addressed with your fertility program going forward.

Finally, foliar fertilizers need to be safe for you crop. All of our foliar products are extremely plant safe. Most can be tank mixed with most herbicide programs, but check the lables or call us to make sure. There are also procedures for the order of tank mixing with fertilizers. We can help you with our recommendations. So if you have questions, please do not hesitate to call us. May save a headache during a busy time!


Soil Service, Inc office: or 888-313-2360

John Viertel: or 573-680-6951 (voice or text)