CROPS WATCH: ‘Foliar nutrition adding 0.2t/ha/day in last stages of grain fill’

In this straight talking installment of CROPS WATCH, John Mulhare, TerraChem agronomist, emphasises the importance of nutrition on winter wheat. He shows the damage the wet winter did to his fields and describes how to take crops out of stress.

His main aim is obviously to keep the plant green for as long as possible to increase yield. John is a strong believer in applying foliar nutrients – as well as fungicides – to achieve this.

Magnesium

The T2 fungicide was applied to the crop at the weekend and SulfaMag Aloy was also applied to the flag leaf at this time.

He described how SulfaMag Aloy, at the end of the season, can add 0.2t/ha/day to the yield of the crop.

It’s a basic principle. If the leaf stays green, the plant continues to carry out photosynthesis and produce more yield. A malnourished crop won’t meet its potential. John’s advice is to top up magnesium levels now to get the best yield possible.

Also Read: CROPS WATCH: Straight forward T2 on winter wheat

Crop stress

As you will see in the video John has some deep tramlines, where his tractor sank early in the season. Had he planted spring barley in the field, he is sure the crop would have suffered from phosphorus deficiency and failed to tiller out.

Uplift at 3L/ha should help to combat some of the crop stress.

T2:
  • Treoris – 2L/ha;
  • OPUS Team – 1.5L/ha;
  • Uplift – 3L/ha;
  • SulfaMag – 1.5L/ha;
  • Terpal – 1.25L/ha (if needed).

Treoris has been shown to increase chlorophyll content of the plant by 32-33%. John described it as free growth promotion, aside from protecting the plant from disease.

John added that the foliar application of trace elements on his farm is essential as the high soil pH levels of 7.4/7.5 lock up trace elements. Blanket application of trace elements is now standard practice on the farm.

John applies trace elements in order to:
  • Maximise tiller production;
  • Maximise grain site number;
  • Maximise grain fill.

Septoria watch

While the top leaves of the crop were clean, John noted that Leaf 4 had a septoria level of 2-3% and Leaf 5 had an infection level of approximately 50-60%.