Plant analysis is a valuable tool for managing plant nutrients and troubleshooting agronomic problems. Being certain that a specific plant nutrient is causing deficiency symptoms is difficult with visual symptoms alone. Many causal agents unrelated to soil fertility can cause symptoms that appear to be nutrient-related. There are also some plant nutrient deficiencies that are impossible to determine visually so we call them a “hidden hunger.” For troubleshooting situations, you will need a pair of good and bad plant samples, along with good and bad soil samples, to discover the real answer to what is happening in the field (nutrient deficiency or something else).
To help you troubleshoot problem areas and get familiar with plant analysis, AGVISE Laboratories is sponsoring the Plant Nutrient Deficiency Troubleshooting Project in 2021. We are looking to work with 50 to 100 customers this summer who see apparent nutrient deficiency symptoms in one of their fields and want to be involved in this educational project. Volunteering in this project will help you figure out if a problem area in a field is caused by a plant nutrient deficiency or something else. If you want to volunteer, contact one of our agronomists or soil scientists in Northwood (701-587-6010) or Benson (320-843-4109) as soon as you have a problem area you want to troubleshoot for this project. Immediacy is key for good data. The results may be inconclusive if you wait to take plant samples 7 to 10 days after symptoms first appear because new problems can arise.
Once you have spoken with one of our staff and described the problem in your field, we will send you the supplies packet to submit good and bad plant samples, as well as good and bad soil samples (0- 6 inch). If you can provide us with good photographs to aid in the problem diagnosis, we will cover the soil and plant analysis fees (two complete tissue analyses and two complete soil analyses; $151.20 USD retail value).
It is important to catch plant nutrient deficiencies early while you still have time to make a rescue fertilizer application. Take advantage of the AGVISE Plant Nutrient Deficiency Troubleshooting Project and solve those problems the right way… right away.