Leaf Analysis - What's the Story?
During July and August when many leaf samples are being collected for analysis, the weather can be unforgiving - hot, dry, no rain and often very high humidity. Under these weather conditions, if irrigation was not provided, there was reduced plant growth, low transpiration rates and dry soils. All these factors combined will have an effect on the nutrient concentrations in the leaves and will affect your interpretation of the results.
General points to remember when reviewing leaf analysis results:
The table below lists a few observations you may notice when comparing leaf analysis with previous years for non-irrigated crops. Without a historical record from past seasons, it will be difficult to interpret leaf analysis without a reference baseline for that location.
Management options: The tissue results do not necessarily mean that you need to adjust soil fertility rates. Make sure a soil sample is completed in the fall, if a sample was not recently done within the past 2-3 years. Consider soil management practices, such as mulches or improving irrigation to ensure even soil moisture.
Weather effects on interpreting leaf nutrient concentrations are important
considerations for perennial crops where the leaf analysis from this season
will be used to adjust the next year's program.
For more information:
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