Chris Dowling explains the keys to successful sampling and interpretation of plant tissue tests in winter crops.
Why use tissue tests?
Plant tissue tests ask the crop ‘what’s wrong?’. Ideally, analysis can get to the core of an issue before yield has been overly compromised.
Plant tissue results are more sensitive to short term nutrient supply and growing conditions than soil test information. So, tissue tests are more accurate when diagnosing a nutrient deficiency, toxicity or imbalance.
Tissue tests confirm plants are accessing nutrients. Just because nutrients are available, it doesn’t mean the plant is using them.
Results are fast. Tissue test results can be back in a week, so imbalances can be addressed as soon as possible. Test strips applying extra nutrients take at least a few weeks to show a crop response.
Critical values from local and international sources are easy to access. Compare your results with standard published values to identify crop nutrition issues. Talk with your agronomist since ideal levels for nutrients vary depending on the species, plant part, time of year and stage of growth.
Plant tissue tests do not replace soil tests. Tissue and soil tests are complementary, so use both for best practice crop nutrition.
You will learn…
The webinar covers:
- which plant parts to sample
- the best time(s) to sample: light levels and frost can affect results, and ideally, tissue test before problems appear
- collecting samples for the most accurate results
- storing, handling and transporting samples
- what do the numbers mean: what are the different tests and approaches to interpreting the results?
- how to fine-tune your fertiliser application based on the test results.