Foliar Fertilizer to Improve Plant Health and Increase Yield
Posted: Mar 25 2019
"Foliar fertilization" is any fertilizing substance applied in a liquid form.
Foliar fertilization has been found to be the most efficient way to increase yield and improve plant health. Tests have shown that foliar feeding can increase yields from 12% to 25% when compared to conventional fertilization.
Tests, conducted in different locations, under different environmental conditions, have reflected the following;
- When fertilizers are foliar applied, more than 90% of the fertilizer is utilized by the plant. When a similar amount is applied to the soil, only 10 percent of it is utilized.
- In the sandy loam, foliar applied fertilizers are up to 20 times more effective when compared to soil applied fertilizers.
Foliar feeding is an effective method for correcting soil deficiencies and overcoming the soil’s inability to transfer nutrients to the plant under low moisture conditions.
The effectiveness of foliar applied nutrients is determined by:
(1) The condition of the leaf surface, in particular the waxy cuticle. The cuticle is only partially permeable to water and dissolved nutrients, which can limit nutrient uptake.
(2) The length of time the nutrient remains dissolved in the solution on the leaf's surface.
(3) Diffusion, the movement of elements from a high concentration to a low concentration. For diffusion to occur, the nutrient must dissolve.
(4) The type of formulation. Water-soluble formulations generally work better for foliar applications as they are more easily absorbed when compared to insoluble solutions.
University of Michigan - Drs. Witter and Turkey as quoted in Readers Digest magazine
"... leaves lap up food like blotting paper and it spreads in a few hours from tip to root. In many cases, as much as 95 percent of the food sprayed on the leaves is used immediately by the plant, where under some conditions, the roots take up no more than 10 percent of the same amount placed in the soil."
University of Tennessee - Prof. T.S. Osborne, Agronomist
"... research indicated that only 10 to 12 per cent of phosphorus fertilizers as taken up by plants in the first year; the rest was "locked in" the soil or washed away. Fertilizer applied to soil is largely wasted because it is either bound by soil particles or is washed out of the root zone. If chemical elements could go directly into leaves and bypass the wastefulness of soils, a tremendous saving would result.”
“... the foliage of plants can take in nutrients much as roots can. Many nutrients are readily taken up by foliage, including bark of dormant trees; even at temperatures below freezing. Elements such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium move both up and down from the point of application at rates similar to those following root absorption."
GUIDELINES FOR FOLIAR FEEDING APPLICATIONS
- Use a sprayer that produces a fine mist.
- Nozzles should be turned to the back of the sprayers so the flow of material approaches the plant at a 90 degree angle to float on the plants.
Earth Smart Solutions offers a foliar fertilizer formulated with high grade macro and micro nutrients, plant extracts, amino acids, enzymes, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates called Propel - Foliar Fertilizer.
PROPEL FOLIAR FERTILIZER
Propel is a broad-spectrum, super concentrated fertilizer for use in reduced synthetic fertilizer programs on grain crops, pulse crops, rice, etc. Propel can be used alone or in conjunction with chemical inputs in any standard crop management program.
- improve soil porosity, drainage and aeration
- reduce compaction
- can improve the water holding capacity of the soil helping plants resist drought and produce better crops in reduced moisture conditions.
One estimate indicates that a 5% increase in soil organic matter quadruples the soil's ability to hold and store water.
Propel can increase the available nitrogen far in excess of its own content by stimulating soil microbes. Nitrogen is a plant stimulator, regulator and a carrier of elements. For plants to benefit from nitrogen, the elements must first be converted into nitrates. This conversion is carried out by microbes that metabolize nitrogen as an energy source.
BENEFITS OF PROPEL:
- Moves rapidly from the leaf surface into the plant
- Helps the plant's natural defense mechanisms to resist plant disease and insect infestations
- Increases available nutrients and improves nitrogen uptake
- Aids in biological nitrogen fixation
- Stimulates root development
- Stimulates and helps sustain indigenous biomass
- Aids in reducing soil compaction
METHODS OF APPLICATION:
Propel has proven to be effective on a wide variety of crops and can be applied pre-emergent as well as post-emergent using standard application techniques. These techniques include:
- direct soil injection (liquid kit)
- foliar feeding
Propel is 100 percent water soluble and must be applied in water. For new, less dense foliage, apply in 5 gal. water/acre. For mature foliage apply in 10 gal. water/acre. For best results, apply when the plant is cool. Avoid applying immediately before or after a rainfall or when the plant is under water stress. Typical application rate is 1 litre to 1.5 litre/acre.
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