I get asked many times throughout the year from turf managers, “how can I take my program to the next level?”. For each turf manager, the answer to that question will vary, however I always start by asking if they're currently doing tissue testing.
Many turf managers are soil testing 1 or 2 times per year, which gives them extremely valuable information that allows them to develop their nutritional program accordingly. One way to take this information to the next level is to start tissue testing through the season as environmental stresses start to impact plants’ ability to take up nutrients.
What is a tissue test? It's is a test that is performed by taking leaf tissue from the field and testing to see what nutrients are currently present in the tissue.
How can tissue testing help, and why is it important? Tissue testing can help by giving you a snapshot of what that plant is currently using from the soil or foliar applied products, and at what levels it is using it. For instance, you may have a soil test that says you have plenty of calcium in the soil.
During times of stress, the plant has a hard time taking up calcium, so even though you may have plenty in the soil, the plant’s calcium uptake is limited when it’s under stress. You then know how to change your foliar sprays based on your tissue test results.
With these results, your Harrell’s representative can make Harrell’s MAX recommendations to help offset any inefficiencies you may have. These recommendations will provide the nutrients the plant is currently in need of, at that specific time.
Example of a Harrell's tissue test result with recommendations (click for a larger view).
This is available from your Harrell's rep.
If are not currently doing any tissue testing, think about adding it to your approach. It can give you key information that can be very useful when developing nutritional applications.
Contact your local Harrell’s representative to learn more about how tissue testing can help you take your program to the next level.
This video with Dr. Raymond Snyder explains more about the tissue sampling process.