Last week I spent 2 days in Alberta doing meetings in support of our new exclusive distributor for western Canada ENR . You likely won’t believe it but it was actually warmer in Canada than it was in Iowa!
We had two one-day meetings, one in Stettler, and one in Lethbridge. We had over a 100 farmers at each meeting and a half a dozen dealers. In addition to the McRea
staff, we had a representative from Glen Dale Agra Services Ltd.
out of British Columbia, among other dealers.
lead off the meeting discussing the various types of fertilizers and where they were best suited for. Many farmers are unware that different fertilizer actually have different effects in the soil.
I discussed calcium, sulfur and pH related issues. You can view both presentations at the following links.
Jarrett Chambers with ATP Nutrition
rounded out the program. ATP is doing some interesting things with foliars and nutritionals. This is a company you will want to keep and eye on!
One thing I learned at this meeting is what mineral deficiency this corn is showing?
This picture was taken near Blue Earth Minnesota. In addition to the small ears the corn was lodged.
In the following picture, 300# of SuperCal SO4 was applied broadcast
Go back to the first picture, no it’s not sulfur or calcium. Give up? It took me listening to Jarrett’s presentation and seeing his magnesium deficiency pictures to know that we were seeing magnesium deficiency. Why didn’t we know it right away? The soil had over 25% base saturation magnesium, it shouldn’t be magnesium deficiency.
My new friend and consultant Geoff Doell, who I meet at the meeting, had the answer, magnesium protein channels or membrane channel. These channels are what protect the plant from overdosing on a nutrient when it is in too high a level. This defense mechanism was sensing the high magnesium levels and was keeping the channels into the plant closed. We will jump into this further in another blog! For now we can simply say that increasing the calcium was enough to allow the plant to take in enough magnesium to grow a strong root system and big ears.
Doubt that high mag soils can be a problem, why would the University of Florida engineer plants to grow on the high mag soils of Mars
if it wasn’t an issue?