Is Your Corn Well Fed

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Is Your Corn Well Fed is being conducted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Pasquotank County Center with the assistance of Dr. Ron Heiniger, NC State Extension Crop and Soil Science Specialist (corn), and Dr. Luke Gatiboni, NC State Extension Crop and Soil Science Specialist (fertility). This program is focusing on plant nutrition, which is one of the key components of a firm foundation for a profitable crop that ensures good stewardship of our natural resources.

The goal of this project is twofold.  First, it will allow growers to become more familiar with interpreting tissue samples, especially for something other than problem situations, but for a predictive approach (let you know if crop is on target nutritionally). Also, it will allow growers to learn about how to effectively use this tool to determine if their crop is well fed. Secondly, by having a number of sites from different growers, with different soil types, and management practices, it will provide a means to build a database for the county.

A specific spot was selected for each field with tissue and soil samples being taken in that area at the growth stages (V5, V10, VT, and R1).  Soil samples will be taken in close proximity to the seed furrow. Samples will be analyzed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Agronomic Services Division labs. Hand harvest to determine yield will also be conducted.
The data specific for each grower will be shared with that grower, but any data shared with the public will be cumulative (such as soil types, management practices, etc.).
To understand how to correctly take plant tissue and soil sample samples as well as interpretation of them, use the links below with the NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division.
Understanding The Soil Test Report (soil tests conducted by NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division)
Understanding The Plant Tissue Report (plant tissue tests conducted by NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division)
Plant Tissue Sampling For Corn (by NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division)
Sampling for Plant Analysis: pictorial key to tissue sampling (by NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division): Pictorial

Improving Corn Fertilizer and Water Management – Field Video (in the last two and half minutes of video Dr. Kuleza, NC State Extension Nutrient Management & Animal Waste Specialist, shows how to take a plant tissue sample in corn)

Corn field in northeast North Carolina.

Cornfield in northeast North Carolina.

Plant tissue samples ready for submission and analysis by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Agronomic Division.

Plant tissue samples ready for submission and analysis by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Division.