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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2002-2004
2 Fluid Journal Winter 2003 groundwater contamination. Studies using labeled phosphorus (P) on apple, cherry, corn, tomato, potato, and bean crops have shown that as much as 12 to 14 percent of the total P can be supplied by multiple foliar sprays. Since P can be very immobile in the soil, foliar applications can be up to 20 times more effective than soil applications. The benefits of foliar N sprays compared to soil applications include lower application rates and the ease of obtaining timely, uniform applications. With attention to best-use guidelines, the efficiency of foliar applied N may be optimized at nearly 95 to 100 percent. Based on the foregoing information, if the recovery of soil-applied N ranges from 15 to 62 percent, it can be concluded by the method of estimation that foliar-applied N has an efficiency of 1.3 to 1.6 times soil-applied N at the low end and 7 at the upper end. Compared to soil-applied N, on a pound-for-pound basis, foliar-applied N can be up to 7 times more efficient. Stimulates plant There is a direct link between foliar feeding and the activities of the enzymatic systems of the plant. The timeliness and ready availability of nutrients provided by foliar feeding stimulate enzymatic cycles to greater efficiency and quicker response. Elements have been shown to translocate as much as one foot per hour from the leaves to the roots. This rapid movement may be explained by the triggering of auxins or the stimulation of the energy mechanisms within the plant. The "law of little bits" always appliesto foliar feeding. It is better to spray small amounts of material more frequently than it is to drench the foliage with large amounts of material. Small quantities of key elements such as N "speed up" the physiological functions of the plant. If foliar feeding is done correctly, visual results may be seen within 48 hours. General tips From what we have learned, the following five points are the most important to getting best results from every application of foliar-applied N and protecting the environment: • Make sure products used are in proper form • Apply prior to growth stage to be affected • Make certain coverage is thorough and complete • Make applications when they will be most effective • Make sure of compatibility when tank mixing with other materials • Reduce amount of water to improve results. Dixon is a certified professional agronomist, a licensed pest control adviser, and private consultant in the state of California.
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