Great Plains wheat needs monitored for copper

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Given rising wheat prices, it’s important that producers pay close attention to micronutrient nutrition so that the often-overlooked input of copper doesn’t get in the way of capitalizing on a very profitable opportunity.

Low copper levels have been found in about 35 percent of samples taken from indicator species grown on soils throughout a broad geographic band extending from North Dakota/Montana all the way south to Texas, notes the Wolf Trax micronutrients company. (Cereals grown in the coastal areas extending from North Carolina, South Carolina through to Georgia also are in general “need” areas, too.)

What is particularly worrying about copper deficiency is that it doesn’t always show up in vegetative growth of a producer’s wheat, but it can devastate the reproductive structures to the point where otherwise healthy plants simply don’t set seed—or set a reduced amount of seed. Wheat needs copper in order to “build” the pollen structures that are essential in setting seed. If a crop is deficient or moderately deficient in copper, the pollination process will be impaired and yield will suffer, Wolf Trax representatives explain.

Here are some rules of thumb that can be used to determine whether fields are at risk of a copper deficiency and if you should be recommending copper to your grower customers:

1) If a soil test reads less than 0.2 ppm DTPA-extractable copper, there may be a moderate to severe deficiency, and copper should be looked at for inclusion in fertility recommendations.

2) If, in the past, tissues tests have shown up as copper deficient, as defined by a testing lab, there likely is a need to start using copper in a fertility program

3) If copper deficiencies have been identified in the field in the past, there likely will be a need to begin a copper program.

In the past, producers have tried to take care of their copper deficiencies by applying granular copper.  Uneven blends with granules have been a common concern, and the copper doesn’t travel far from where it lands to help with soil fertility, according to Wolf Trax.  

In an experiment, copper movement off a 12 percent copper oxysulphate was “tracked” by measuring DTPA-extractable copper at various distances from the granule over time. The results were that as little as four inches away from the point where the granular copper had fallen, no copper was available. The bulk of the DTPA-extractable copper stayed right adjacent to the granule.

If farmer customers need copper to maximize their wheat profits this year, Wolf Trax says ag retailers should consider Wolf Trax Copper DDP in fertilizer blends with the biggest reason being that the Copper DDP coats the fertilizer prills for even coverage across fields.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Related Articles

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Blend and Bulk Tower Systems

Waconia Towers provide speed, efficiency and reliability that only gravity-fed systems can offer. Towers are available with up to 300 ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form