June Guelph Service Bulletin
PRE-SIDEDRESS NITRATE TESTING
The majority of 2015 corn planting occurred in a very short time span, with much of it emerged by the middle of May. This will make the window of opportunity to collect Nitrate-N samples prior to sidedressing very short. If management zones are yet to be developed, do not hesitate in contacting us to help with their creation. Yield maps, bareground satellite imagery, and EMI or Veris soil maps are all excellent data with which to create nitrogen management zones.
Contact us for your sampling needs to ensure timely service for custom sample extraction.
PLANT TISSUE ANALYSIS
A valuable but underutilized tool in the nutrient management toolbox is plant tissue analysis. It is relatively common to test plant tissue to diagnose or confirm a deficiency when crops appear symptomatic, but much less frequently are samples submitted to monitor nutrient levels. It is possible for crops to appear healthy and robust, despite low nutrient concentrations. Known as ‘hidden hunger’, a tissue analysis can accurately measure nutrient levels, and reveal if any are below minimum thresholds so that supplemental applications can be performed before yield is reduced.
If variability exists within a field, sampling a ‘good’ and a ‘poor’ area separately can often reveal the nutrients that are contributing to the differences.
Combining a benchmark soil and tissue test may also help to identify if the problem is due to soil fertility, or perhaps just environmental conditions limiting uptake. Tissue testing can not only prevent yield loss in the current cropping year, but also reduce risk of yield loss due to nutrient limitations in forthcoming crop seasons.
FORAGE FIELD FERTILITY
There are many ways to monitor and improve forage field fertility. We've listed some quick tips below:
- An application of liquid manure directly after cutting haylage can improve the yield and quality of subsequent cuts
- Soil testing forage fields will identify those most in need of additional nutrient and/or organic matter
- Manure testing allows accurate calculation of nutrient credits, since values can be quite variable compared to published average rates.
ALFALFA FORAGE QUALITY
With the dormancy break of alfalfa occurring late, combined with fairly sudden waves of warm weather and dry conditions, predicting forage quality and cutting dates may be difficult this spring. Some fields, mainly older stands or those harvested late previously, are thin and late maturing. Utilizing a scissor cut test may be the best way to predict the optimal cutting date.
Processing of these samples will begin as soon as they are received. Results can be expected by the next day by e-mail or fax. These samples will be analyzed by NIR as "mixed forages", i.e. grass and alfalfa will not be sorted, so samples should be as representative of the field composition as possible.
Contact us to submit your samples.
OTHER SERVICES OFFERED BY SGS
SGS Guelph is a full service agricultural facility, offering many different analyses and report styles. Our services include, but are not limited to:
- Fertilizer Analysis - Tests N, P2O5, and K2O; or each individually
- Ag Lime Index - Includes particle size, Ca, Mg and neutralizing value
- Soybean Cyst Nematode - Provides cyst and egg counts for SCN
- Nematode Count - Reports levels of all detected plant parasitic nematodes
- Irrigation Water - Nutrient analysis also converted into lbs of nutrient per acre-inch
- Livestock Water Quality - Report also shows notes on suitability and maximum limits
- Topsoil - Compares results to typical levels of Loam to Sandy Loam, and provides custom amendment recommendations where possible to conform to specifications
- Heavy Metals - Reports 11 regulated metals and compares to average levels of uncontaminated soils, and maximum allowable values
- Home, Lawn and Garden - Best suited for the homeowner, with results explained and presented in simple terms
- Compost - Nutrients, maturity, microbiological, and physical properties are available
- Green Roof/Rooftop Substrate - Results compared to FLL standards, where possible
For further information, please contact:
Jack Legg, CCA-ON
Branch Manager, Agronomist
503 Imperial Rd. N., Unit 1
Guelph, Ontario N1H 6T9
t: +1 519 837 1600