Providing optimum plant nutrition has always been a discussion for producers who are looking to maximize crop production and profitability. Many people have researched product application practices seeking high production and return on nutrients applied. For years, the justification for applications has been based on Liebig’s law of the minimum.
In 1828, German botanist Carl Sprengel developed the “Law” or “Principle” of the minimum. It became more well known when German Biochemist and Professor, Justus von Liebig, publicized and studied it more widely starting around 1940. The “Law of the Minimum” in 1940, states that the rate of growth of a plant, the size to which it grows, and its overall health depends on the amount of the scarcest of its essential nutrients that is available to it.
Although this concept can and has provided some value to producers for many years, it is missing a key element – the condition of the barrel. For years producers have chased the lowest stathe of the barrel with applied macro and micronutrients without addressing the condition of the soil that they apply nutrients to.
Improving the health and balance of your soil is not always a quick process but is the most important element to address before chasing the scarcest nutrient on a snapshot soil or tissue test. Applications of harsh chemicals, fertilizers, and heavy tillage have created flaws in the barrel (soil) that we depend on for farm profitability. Addressing the lowest stathe of the barrel doesn’t always work if we don’t first evaluate the condition of our soil.
Fortunately today we are going back to the basics with the increased use of cover crops, No-Till/Reduced till practices, and addressing soil biology. It’s exciting to see how agriculture has changed over my 23-years of supporting professional producers in the Midwest. As producers address the factors that are limiting the soil’s ability to hold optimum moisture, cycle nutrients, and provide a prolific root environment first, the soil can and will work for you.
For 40 years AgriGro has manufactured products that support producers in increasing profitability by mending the barrel (soil). If you haven’t experienced the benefits of AgriGro products on your farm, I would encourage you to give them a try.