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Is There Any Benefit to Tissue Tests in Wheat?

Jan 18, 2012

Question: Is there any benefit to wheat tissue testing since I soil test pretty regularly?

 Answer: While soil testing is an important tool to determine soil nutrient levels and nutritional requirements, I use tissue tests to refine the soil tests further and make more accurate post-applied nutrient recommendations. Tissue tests are ideally taken when the plants are 4” to 6” tall in the spring, usually around two or three weeks after green-up. At this point, the plants are taking up nutrients but there is still adequate time to apply the required nutrients before any lack of nutrients can have a negative impact on yield. Tissue tests are taken by carefully cutting plants off at ground level, but be sure to not contaminate the samples with soil. Select a number of different sites within the field for analysis, or you can select good areas to sample and compare them separately to bad areas. This latter suggestion can help if you are looking to isolate specific nutrient deficiencies within different regions of fields. Contact your local Extension office or consulting agronomist for more direction on how to mail in your samples for testing.
Seeking sound agronomy assistance from a certified crop adviser is money well spent. After all, if you don’t compare your varieties to others, how can you be sure you’re planting the best ones?
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