Verified FBN Member (MO)

Building soil vs foliar applications

New to ag. First year coming out of CRP. Spent a lot of money on fertilizer and micronutrients trying to build soil up. Wonder if money would be better spent on tissue tests and applying foliar nutrient needs directly and continue to build soil deficiencies at slower pace?

Verified FBN Member (MO)

Foliar will never replace a solid soil program foliar is better for micros and fixing some other deficency I’d still tissue test to see how well soil is processing and putting it into the plant

Verified FBN Member (IL)

As long as you can bear the upfront investment, I find it much better to spend the money and build the soil fertility up and only utilize foliar applications for minor adjustments throughout the growing season.

Unfortunately, every farm that i have purchased was significantly mined out and took a lot of investment in fertilizer. I applied 400 lbs of P and 400 lbs of K to one of my fields for 5 years in a row to get the numbers where they needed to be.

I recently bought a new field and soil sampled in 2.5 acre grids. This year will be my first time to apply variable rate fertilizer, but I plan to do it at high rates to try to recover it within 1-2 growing seasons. If you want to get nerdy, you can check out my fertility plan on YouTube at

BTW, my comments only apply if you own the field. If you are renting it, you may want to consider less of a build program.

Good luck with your plans!

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