Modern hybrids bring many benefits to growers, with improved environmental stress tolerance and the ability to yield significantly better than their predecessors under the same conditions.
However, until recent years little has been done in the way of research to test the time-honored standards for crop nutrition using modern hybrids. The International Plant Nutrition Institute has been conducting research work in this area in receny years to gain insight into this issue.
Results of research conducted beginning in 2010 is showing that greater yields delivered by modern hybrids have been “accompanied by a significant drop in soil macronutrient and micronutrient levels,” according to a study synopsis in Better Crops magazine.
“The last summary of soil test levels in North America by IPNI reported that an increasing percentage of U.S. and Canadian soils have dropped to levels near or below the critical phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and zinc thresholds during the last five years,” the article reports. “Soils with decreasing fertility levels coupled with higher yielding hybrids suggest that producers have not sufficiently matched nutrient uptake and removal with accurate maintenance fertilizer applications.”