As crops surge into rapid growth, we get several phone calls a day from WakeUP users who have fresh ideas (and questions) about making the most of prospective crops — or solving problems they see. Here are five ways you can make the most of every dollar spent on nutrients and crop protection:
1. Spray WakeUP Summer blended with foliar fertilizer to help build chlorophyll levels in corn. We’re seeing yellow corn fields fighting for nutrients in wet soil. Add 5 oz. of WakeUP Summer to the foliar nutrient mix of your choice. If a foliar fertilizer blend usually enhances yield 5 bu. per acre, our field tests show that WakeUP Summer can improve its yield another 4 bu. per acre. An example is AgriEnergy Resources’ foliar, Accelerator. Including WakeUP nudged up the response to Accelerator on corn by an extra 13 bu. per acre in a 2013 trial with three replications.
2. Intensifies post-emergence herbicide penetration and translocation. We’ve seen fields where the preplant herbicide didn’t hold, or where persistent rains allowed rapid weed growth before weedkillers could be applied. Add 5 oz. per acre of WakeUP Summer to your post-emergence herbicide spray for “clear coat” coverage of weed leaves and faster, more complete absorption. You can also reduce drift and evaporation in your foliar spray by using a medium to coarse droplet size. No need to “mist.” A big drop hitting the leaf will spread out to coat the leaf without beading up.
3. Add WakeUP to side-dressed N for increased soil mobility. This spring we tested rates of water absorption in soil — with and without WakeUP Summer in the water. A small amount of WakeUP sped absorption by about 10% in the first 15 minutes. It indicates that 28% liquid nitrogen will also migrate via soil moisture toward the root zone more rapidly if it’s spiked with about a half-ounce of WakeUP Summer per gallon. Several years ago, innovative farmers discovered extra yield gains by adding WakeUP to their in-furrow and 2×2 fertilizers. We didn’t orginate that idea — farmers did!
4. Foliar feed to keep crop nutrient levels at optimum levels into summer. Foliar nutrient absorption by crops is up to 10 times more effective than soil-applied nutrients. Use tissue tests or sap tests to get early warning on deficiencies. In a glyphosate program, odds are high that manganese and other traces will be temporarily locked up, so foliar applications can prevent lost growing time. Also: Warm, damp weather in June could promote several diseases, including Goss’s wilt in corn. Your best defense is a healthy, well-nourished crop. Today’s sophisticated field sprayers can be even more profitable when you take advantage of them all summer to build crop health and final yield.
5. Include a pound of sugar per acre when you foliar feed. This week when we visited a fertilizer field day, soybean grower Kip Cullers and other advisors said including sugar is a standard practice that adds a bushel or two for a cost of less than 50 cents an acre. This is nothing new to AgriEnergy Resources clients — Dave Larson was recommending this years ago. We’re exploring various “flavors” of sugar including a cold processed cane sucrose which might make the PPFms on the leaf happier and thus generate more bushels.