Nutrient management following adverse weather

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Many vegetable fields have received excess rain and other adverse weather conditions. Loss of nitrogen by leaching or denitrification is a primary concern. Being able to dry the soil and till it to get oxygen back into the soil improves microbial activity and the mineralization of nitrogen. In order to further deal with these situations, sidedress 25 - 50 lbs N/acre. For onions, apply no more than 25 lbs N/acre. More at this time could delay maturity and storage quality. For later planted vegetable crops with a high nitrogen requirement apply 40 - 50 lbs N/acre.

Boron may also be leached out of the root zone under excess water conditions. For boron responsive crops, spray the foliage with 0.25 lbs B/ acre. Boron responsive crops include the root crops, celery, celeriac, broccoli, cauliflower and tomato. Chinese cabbage and pak choi are less responsive, but may also benefit from a boron spray.

Many of the vine crops, leafy green crops, radish and sweet corn will benefit from spraying the foliage with manganese at 1 lb Mn/acre.

Under stress conditions plants may benefit from spraying some other nutrients as well, but stressed plants are less able to absorb nutrients through their leaves. For more information on nutrient management, check out MSU Extension bulletins E-486 and E-2934.

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