«Previous    Next»
Don't Sell Foliar Fertilization Short
If you grow soybeans, put Allied Chemical's Folian on your list of "promising new products to test this year." Despite what you've read and heard lately, foliar fertilization - if you use a quality product and apply it right - is alive and well.
In fact, you may even want to do some "behind the barn" experimenting with foliar feeding of corn. A handfull of Indiana corn growers who tried it last year with Allied Chemical's Folian are convinced they've got a real yield-boosting tiger by the tail.
FARM SHOW, along with editors from other farm magazines, learned about this and other latest new developments on foliar feeding two week's ago at a press conference sponsored by Allied Chemical Corp. Here's the picture on foliar feeding, presented by crop researchers who appeared on the conference program:
Dr. John Hanway, Iowa State University Research Agronomist. Dr. Hanway focused nationwide interest in foliar fertilization in January, 1976, with his announcement of a whopping 23 bu. yield increase with foliar fertilization of soybeans. Working with an experimental material supplied by Allied Chemical, he applied high doses (up to 201bs0 of actual N,P,K and S per acre) of a complete nutrient solution on the leaves without damaging the crop.
Dr. Hanway hasn't been able to duplicate his first year's spectacular results. Nonetheless, he remains optimistic: "Folian seems to have real potential for increasing yields during the seed filling period. We know we need to put on four elements (NP-K-S) in the same ratio as they occur in the seed. We have had success and failure but the potential is so great that we don't dare drop our effort for consistently successful results."
Dr. Y. V. Subbarao, Agronomist for Ed's Supplies, Shipshewana, Ind. In preliminary on-farm trials last year with local farmers producing hybrid seed corn, foliar fertilization with Folian boosted yields 9.6%, resulting in $15 to $20 extra net profit per acre. Treated plots also averaged 4 points drier, leading to earlier harvest and less drying costs. Folian was applied at the rate of 5 gal. per acre one to two weeks before tassel emergence.
"We are not ready to make recommendations and emphasize that the use of Folian on corn is strictly experimental. Nonetheless, preliminary results are exciting and corn growers who tried it last year are anxious to repeat the practice on a bigger scale this year," says Dr. Subbarao.
Dr. George Ham, University of Minnesota Agronomist. "Soybean foliar fertilization has shown potential from the very beginning. Dr. Hanway originally observed a 23 bu. yield increase and the following year we observed a 9 bu. increase. A lot of people jumped on the bandwagon and tried to use the formulation like a finished product. Now, Allied Chemical has a more practical formulation. It's simply a question of following up on a promising concept. We can't give up."
Dr. Ham warns that some companies have attempted to jump on the foliar fertilization bandwagon with low analysis products. "Be sure you're using a quality product that contains high amounts of N,P,K and S. We're talking about 10 to 12 lbs. of actual material applied per acre."
Don Johnson, Allied Chemical Agronomist, stationed at Omaha, Neb. ,He notes that in 1976 following Dr. Hanway's announcement of the 23 bu. yield increase with foliar fertilization, "everybody wanted to get into the act. Growers across the U.S. soybean belt were clamoring for a foliar product, and various firms were trying to make it. Many new researchers wandered in, and growers demanded that their state agricultural university test the foliar material.
"TVA, which has traditionally supplied fertilizer materials for independant research, announced in 1976 that it would supply a limited amount of foliar fertilization material (potassium polyphosphate) to industry and university researchers for formulation of foliar solutions. TVA also offered quantities of its product for sale to fertilizer manufacturers and fertilizer dealers. With soybeans at about $8 per bu., farmers were eager to try the new concept for increasing

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1978 - Volume #2, Issue #3