Until recently, the use of foliar fertilizers was treated as an unnecessary and costly procedure that did not pay off from the already unprofitable field crops. Meanwhile, as research and field tests show, foliar feeding of plants significantly increases their productivity, and thus the real earnings.
In addition, autumn foliar fertilization of winter crops determines the development of a deep root system, maintaining the correct color of leaves and bringing the plants to the optimal phase before winter dormancy, which in turn increases their frost resistance. Autumn foliar fertilization of winter cereals should provide plants with such microemelants as: boron (5 g/ha), copper (50 g/ha), manganese (80 g/ha), iron (60 g/ha), zinc (20 g/ha) and molybdenum (0,5 g/ha). The most important macroelements supplied to winter crops by foliar application are phosphorus (1000 g/ha) and potassium (680 g/ha). The autumn demand of plants for these micro- and macroelements can be covered by foliar fertilization with the DR GREEN technology by applying 1 kg of DR GREEN CEREALS fertilizer containing 215.5 g of microelements and 2 kg of DR GREEN QUALITY containing the optimal dose of phosphorus and potassium.
Of course, the basis of cultivation is the proper preparation of the soil for sowing, i.e. balanced fertilization with soil mixtures and organic matter based on the analysis of its abundance and nutritional requirements of the cultivated plants.
Unfortunately, weather conditions and increasing soil salinity more and more often make it difficult to absorb the nutrients it contains, which should be absorbed by the plant root system. These ingredients are very often leached into deeper soil profiles, where poorly developed root systems do not reach. The absorption of nutrients from the soil by plants is also difficult in the period of drought, which in recent years in Poland has become more frequent during the growing season.
Therefore, foliar fertilization is not only recommended, but in many cases it turns out to be necessary for the proper growth and development of plants. Usually, the observed deficiencies of nutrients in plants concern mainly microelements, but also phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, which we can supplement by foliar fertilization.
Foliar fertilization allows to effectively feed plants and provide them with microelements difficult to assimilate from the soil. The research carried out by agricultural laboratories shows that micronutrients from a solution of foliar fertilizers are several dozen times better absorbed by plants than from soil.
Nutrient deficiencies usually appear in the phase of intensive plant growth. It often happens that crops with a rapid increase in biomass are not able to take up a sufficient amount of nutrients from the soil, which may affect the quality and quantity of the final crop.
Moreover, the amount of assimilated compounds is influenced by the weather conditions in which plants develop. In heavy rainfall, nutrients may be leached into the soil, and drought may make it difficult to absorb them, even if they are in the root zone.
The appropriate pH of the soil is also of great importance, which is especially important when plants absorb Mg and Ca.
Foliar fertilization may also be recommended in the case of an improperly balanced dose of soil fertilizers. As a result, a reaction may occur when over-fertilization with one component drastically reduces the intake of the other.
Of course, if plants have a poorly developed or damaged root system, they also need foliar nutrition.
Foliar feeding is usually focused on providing plants with the missing nutrients, manifested by their deficiencies on the leaves. However, the mixtures must not lack the most important micronutrients, the extraction of which from the soil is difficult or ineffective. These are mainly copper, manganese, zinc, boron, iron and molybdenum.
Copper makes plants more resistant to diseases and frosts at the very beginning, while manganese prevents the accumulation of nitrates in crops, and also increases the uptake of phosphorus. This element also affects the content of ascorbic acid, which is especially important in oat crops. Zinc, in turn, maintains the appropriate content of protein and plant hormones, to which maize is the most sensitive.
Foliar fertilizers should be used provided that the nutrients are supplied in a form that is soluble in water and easily available for the plant. They cannot therefore be suspensions, but rather salts of the elements or chelated substances. Ideal foliar fertilizers should be characterized by a high concentration of nutrients, full solubility at very low water temperatures and high tolerance to miscibility with plant protection products. Certainly, however, the additional costs of purchasing supplementary fertilizers will pay off in a large and good-quality crop, which even skeptics will notice. This encourages their use, especially in the early stages of plant development.