Author

Jess Sampson

Jess has 11 years of practical on farm agronomic consultancy experience as well as a university level academic agronomic education. Her specialisations in pasture agronomy, seed and trial management means she is well versed in new seed varieties right through to on farm practical solutions to address crop pressures. Whilst Jess is not on farm or at work, she is hanging out with her teenage Sons, fishing, preserving foods or baking!


Aug 25, 2022

by Jess Sampson

Crops require trace elements to grow, thrive and survive, but only in small amounts. As a result, these are often overlooked when we are looking at our yearly crop inputs.  A healthy addition of trace elements is just as important for producing profitable crops as nitrogen and phosphorus, especially because many Australian soils are deficient in trace elements in their native condition. Because we are producing such high quality grain and large yields, we are at constant risk of not replacing enough micronutrients back into the soil.  The use of foliar sprays will usually correct a problem in the crop. However, for long term correction of the deficiency we need to boost the nutrient reserves in our soils.   Trace Elements applied as a foliar have the benefit of being easily absorbed and translocated readily within the plants. They are also easily decomposed within the plant so that they can become available straight away.  Using a foliar as a Soil Application is highly stable and will not easily allow the nutrient to be replaced by other elements within the soil.  Micro-Nutrient Soil Type Susceptible Crop Zinc Heavily eroded soils, acid soils, coarse sands, Waterlogged soils. Beans, Soybeans, Corn, Sorghum, Rice, Cereals Boron Coarse sandy soils, High Acid soils, peats Lucerne, Lupins, Peas, Clover, cotton, corn, canola Cobalt Essential for nitrogen fixation  Pastures Iron  Alkaline Soils, waterlogged soils Beans, Soybeans, Corn, Sorghum Molybdenum Weathered Acidic soils Canola, Legumes Manganese Sandy soils, Calcareous soils Legumes, Cereals, Cotton, Canola Copper Sandy loams, acidic soils Cereals If crops are deficient in any one of these micronutrients it can cause the crop to struggle with the production of carbohydrates for energy, reproductive growth and seed development, thus leading to reduced crop yields. Yield losses can also occur when crops are only marginally deficient and before symptoms of deficiency are seen.  The best way to diagnose a trace element deficiency is to complete a plant tissue test in crop or as part of your regular soil sampling. OmniTrace is a chelated form of trace elements. A chelate is an organic compound that protects the metallic elements, such as Fe, Zn & Cu. Chelated trace elements are also resistant to micro-biological decomposition, and are soluble in water, therefore mix with a wide range of chemical inputs.  Note: A jar test is always recommended prior to mixing large quantities.  The infographic below from the International Year of Plant Health shows the importance of these nutrients in plant growth. Click here to enlarge the infographic. Shop for Crop Nutrition Products  Find the crop nutrition products you need at FBN Direct®. We have a diverse portfolio to provide product options for growers like you to support plant health. Sources: Grain Research and Development Corporation Nutrimin.com Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "Farmers Business Network", and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by Farmers Business Network Australia Pty. Ltd. and are available only where Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/territory law to use any pesticide other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered chemical product is a violation of federal and/or state/territory law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state, territory and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must be authorised to use restricted chemical products under applicable state or territory law. Please consult your applicable state or territory authority for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted chemical products as some products require specific record-keeping requirements. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business,or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Australia PTY Ltd nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.


Jun 24, 2022

by Jess Sampson

Zinc deficiency in Australia is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies in crops. Zinc deficiencies can occur on a wide range of soils, from heavy alkaline clay soils to light sandy acidic soils.  In crops, zinc is vital for the formation of chlorophyll and carbohydrates. It plays an important role in the movement of water in plants, aiding in root development and starch formation. Zinc is also essential in aiding the production of growth hormones such as Auxins.  The total amount of zinc in your soil can be directly related to the parent material, for example,  basalt soils can contain high levels of zinc, whereas sandy soils can be low in zinc. Although zinc in organic matter is fairly immobile and very little is leached from the soil, it is often not in a readily available form in the soil. There are many factors that can play a key role in the availability of zinc for plant uptake, such as: Organic matter - Zinc can interact with soil organic matter by forming both insoluble and soluble zinc complexes. It can be mineralised and made available to plants from decomposing organic matter.  The amount of chelating agents in the soil have a direct impact on the movement of Zinc. Chelating agents increase the solubility of zinc from the soil and aid its movement through to the roots of the plants. Climatic conditions can also play a role in zinc availability. A wet winter-spring season, like the one we are experiencing in Australia, can result in zinc deficiency in plants, this is a result of reduced microbiological activity. Microbiological activity is important to assist in releasing zinc from organic matter. Because of this waterlogging can tend to increase zinc deficiency. High levels of available iron can adversely affect the plants ability to take up zinc.  The incorrect application of phosphorus fertiliser may induce zinc deficiency, by affecting the physiological availability of zinc in plant tissues. It has been found that Vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) colonisation of plant roots is reduced in crops growing in soils high in phosphorus. That is why it is really important to know your soils and apply the correct fertiliser types and rates.  High water tables or soil compaction can affect plant root development. This can directly affect the dispersion of zinc in the soil, leading to zinc deficiency. VAM is a beneficial fungi which infects the roots of most crops (except canola). The mycelium (fungal threads) assist the plants ability to uptake immobile nutrients such as phosphorus and zinc, It does this by increasing the root surface area. VAM relies on plants for survival. Fallowing land for a long period, e.g. 12 months, or growing non-host crops (canola), can cause populations to decline, thus increasing the risk of zinc deficiency.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhiza Some symptoms of zinc deficiency are: Brown or yellow patches on the new growth Patchy appearance of the crop Brown necrotic spots on the leaves Poor seed set – young tillers may die before setting seed Poor yield/low protein Zinc toxicity is uncommon, and is more likely to occur in acid soils. High levels of zinc can inhibit a plant's ability to uptake P and Fe.  Zinc as a foliar spray should be applied in small amounts, more regularly. Early in the morning or early evening to reduce evaporation and maximise the intake of zinc into the plant. Best results occur when applied before symptoms of deficiency are noticeable.  OmniZinc is a fully chelated form of zinc, making it both more efficient and effective to use. It mixes well with a wide range of liquid fertilisers, humates and chemicals. Crop Rate L/Ha Timing Water L/Ha Cereals 0.5 - 2.5 3-5 leaf stage 50-100 Canola 0.5 - 2.5 4-9 True leaves 50-100 Legumes 0.5 - 2.5 10-14 days before flowering, sooner if a deficiency is known. 50-100 Pasture 0.5 - 2.5 Good leaf cover 50-100 Cotton 1 - 2.5 Prior to flowering 50-100 Grapevines 1 - 3 Flower bud visible & flower bud separated. 200-1000 Citrus 2 - 4 Spring, Summer, Autumn flush 500-1000 2 - 5 Soil application Sources: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhiza https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24205708_Soil_factors_associated_with_zinc_deficiency_in_crops_and_humans GRDC.com.au https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhiza Impact Fertilisers Trace elements 1999 Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "Farmers Business Network", and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by Farmers Business Network Australia Pty. Ltd. and are available only where Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/territory law to use any pesticide other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered chemical product is a violation of federal and/or state/territory law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state, territory and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must be authorised to use restricted chemical products under applicable state or territory law. Please consult your applicable state or territory authority for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted chemical products as some products require specific record-keeping requirements. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business,or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Australia PTY Ltd nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.


Jun 02, 2022

by Jess Sampson

With La Niña in full swing in Australia for the second year, the 2022 season has seen an incredible amount of rainfall across Australia. In April alone, our rainfall was 27% above average as a whole, putting much of Australia into the 10th decile for rainfall.  In a wet season it is really important to keep an eye on our crops' nutrition program. Many of the micronutrients our crops require can be easily leached in wet years. This can result in stunted crops, lower yields or lower protein and oil percentages in crops.  Over the coming weeks we will have a look at these micronutrients, their roles within the plant, and the benefits of proactive application. Boron  Boron is a micronutrient that plants require for healthy cell wall production, it plays an important part in healthy pollination & fruit/seed development. Boron is also instrumental in the translocation of sugars and carbohydrates within the plant.  Along with other micronutrients such as zinc, copper and manganese, it is important to be proactive when applying Boron. Unfortunately, once a deficiency is noticeable, yield has already been affected. For best results it is recommended to apply a small amount, often.  Some indications of Boron deficiency in crops include: Yellowing and death of growing points (Chlorosis) Thickening and cracking of stems (Distortion) Root development anomalies Dropping of buds Discoloration and the crinkling of leaves. As Boron is stored in soil organic matter, its availability will fluctuate according to microbial activity. Boron becomes available as organic matter decomposes. As a result, it can be easily leached, particularly during a wet season.  Calcium, potassium, and nitrogen concentrations in both the soil and plant can affect boron availability and plant function, the calcium:boron (Ca:B) ratio relationship being the most important. Therefore, soils high in calcium will require more boron than soils low in calcium.  As Boron requirements are low it is best to check your crop requirements. Doing a soil test or tissue test is the best way to find out how much Boron is readily available. Higher rates of Boron may be required in heavy clay soils, or soils that have a higher water pH/calcium content.  Boron toxicity is a greater risk on low calcium-content soils. Some symptoms of Boron Toxicity may include: Leaf tip yellowing Leaf necrosis and drop - beginning in the leaf tip Brown & stunted root tips It is best to apply foliar B either in the early morning or evening, when the evaporation rate is low. This will maximise the length of time that the leaves will remain damp, allowing the plant to absorb the most Boron.  OmniBor is compatible with a wide range of agricultural herbicides and pesticides. Check the Compatibility Guide as a reference. Always do a small jar test before preparing a full tank mix. Crop  Rate L/ha Timing Water L Cereal 1 - 2 Mid - late tillering 50 - 80 Legu mes 1 - 2 10 - 14 days before flowering 50 - 80 Canola 1 - 2.5 Prior to flowering 50 - 80 Citrus 1 - 2 Spring flush  500-1000 Grapes 0.5 - 2 Flower clusters visible 200 - 800 Pasture 1 - 2 10 - 14 days before flowering 50 - 80 Lucerne 1 - 2 10 - 14 days before flowering 50 - 80 Source: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/maps/rainfall/?variable=rainfall&map=totals&period=month&region=nat&year=2022&month=04&day=30 Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "Farmers Business Network", and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by Farmers Business Network Australia Pty. Ltd. and are available only where Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice.  Terms and conditions apply. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business, or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Australia PTY Ltd nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.