Foliar Feed

Foliar Feed is a powerful method for correcting deficiencies and overcoming the soil’s inability to transfer nutrients to the plant. Foliar Feeding can help maintain the nutrients balance within.

 

How Foliar Feeding Works 

  • Direct and Efficient Nutrient Uptake
    • Small amounts, high utilization as witnessed with the potassium uptake into the plant without soil interference
  • Stimulation of Rhizosphere
    • The application of foliar nutrients stimulates the plant to release plant exudates, which then stimulate the organisms in the Rhizosphere, who then interact with the plant
  • Colonization of beneficial organisms on leaf surfaces, into the plant, and onto the soil
    • Sets of organisms on the plant leaf can independently fix nitrogen from the air, colonize the leaves for competitive exclusion of disease organisms, and perform the functions

 

How Foliar Feeding Fits with Soil Nutrient Balancing

  • Use during times of the growing season when plant demands exceed soil availability; too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry
  • Allows nutrients to be applied to the crop and not be tied up by soil imbalances; high magnesium, low fertility, compaction etc
  • Application of biology aids the nutrient availability to the plant
  • Allows crop production to maintain profitable levels while working to fix the soil; make money now to invest in long term improvements

 

When to Foliar Feed

  • Foliar spray when air temperatures and humidity both equal 135 or less
  • When air temperature is cooler than soil surface temperature
  • Use Fulvic acid when the stomata are not open (in the late evening to early morning)

 

Timing of Foliar Feeding

Hay and Pastures

  • Early Spring Green-up (4-6 inches tall)
  • Mid-Season to aid in drought tolerance
  • Fall Time to “put it to bed for the winter”

Grains and Produce

  • Vegetative stage – stimulate growth at key points
  • Grain Fill/bulk out – supplement in times of heavy nutrient demand

Vegetables

  • Vegetative stage – to stimulate growth and balance nutrients
  • Fruiting stage – to maximize nutrient uptake to suppression insects and pathogens

 

Benefits of Foliar Feeding

  • 8 to 10 times more effective than soil feeding
  • Stimulates an increase in chlorophyll production, cellular activity and respiration
  • Triggers a plants response that increases water and nutrient uptake from the soil
  • Foliar Feeding proivded about 95% efficiency of use compared to about 10% of use from soil applications. (MSU)* Proven to be very profitable way to apply fertilizer solutions when used correctly
  • Stressed plants can accept select nutrients
  • Based on the efficiency of foliar application, nutrients are 9.5 times more efficient according to agronomist Gary Campbell for AgriEnergy Resources, Princeton, IL.

 

 

(MSU) Turkey, H.B., Wittwer, S.H., Teubner, F.G., and Long, W.G., 1956. “Utilization of radioactive isotopes in resolving the effectiveness of foliar absorption of plant nutrients.” International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, Vol 12: 138-148. United Nations, NY.