All posts by Dr. Frank Yin, Systems Agronomist

Does boron fertilizer use increase corn and soybean yields?

Boron is associated with cell wall biosynthesis, cell wall structure, membrane function, pollen germination, pollen tube growth, and carbohydrate metabolism; hence, insufficient supply can severely impair crop performance, and ultimately result in sub-optimal yields.
Boron deficiency symptoms vary among crops, but, are often noticed on the youngest leaves or terminal buds since boron is not very mobile within the plant. In some crops, deficiency symptoms appear as misshaped leaf blades (Fig. 1). Failure of seed and fruit set has been observed on boron deficient soils (Fig. 2). Deficiency in boron during flowering and fruit may reduce the retention of bud flowers and developing fruits. Some boron deficient crops tend to have short internodes and swollen nodes giving the crops a bush appearance.

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Minimizing Nitrogen Loss in Row Crop Production Using Nitrogen Stabilizers

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Nitrogen (N) fertilization is a costly operation for most row crop producers. Consequently, it is important to implement best management practices (BMP) available for N fertilizer application in order to be profitable. The problem with N fertilizers is their potential to be lost through different N loss pathways: ammonia volatilization, denitrification, and leaching. Spring of 2020 has been generally wet and if this weather pattern continues, farmers should have no problem receiving incorporating rain, minimizing risk for ammonia volatilization from surface-applied at planting N. In TN, most row crop producers split-apply N, with the majority of N fertilizer applied as a sidedress which is closer to the period of high N demand. Since a large portion of N is applied as sidedress, there is the greatest risk for N loss depending on management practice as well as soil and environmental conditions. Continued wet weather might support the use of nitrification inhibitor type products in wetter soils. This blog addresses N stabilizers as a tool to minimize the risk of N loss and ensure that N is available for crops during the period of high demand. Continue reading