A corn plant is essentially an organic factory, taking in raw materials to build a finished product that we harvest as grain. The primary method of manufacture is photosynthesis, the process by which green plants use sunlight to synthesize food from carbon dioxide and water. Plants with an ample supply of these ingredients can run at their photosynthetic peak, overcoming the stresses that occur through the growing season.
Conversely, inhibition of photosynthesis can slowly starve the plant or even kill it outright. You can see examples of this almost every spring. If the conditions are favorable for plant growth—mild temperatures and sunny days—plants can overcome early-season insects feeding on the roots or leaves with little to no economic injury; however, the same number of insects feeding on plants that are stressed because of cool or cloudy conditions can significantly injure or even kill the plants.
Fortunately, farmers can take some easy steps to improve the manufacturing methods to develop plants that emerge strong, grow steadily and generate the kinds of yields that all farmers desire.
3 Ways Farmers Can Help Their Crops Manage In-Season Stress:
1. Increase light interception. Canopy light interception determines the amount of energy captured by a crop. Since sunlight is a key ingredient of photosynthesis, taking steps that increase the sun’s ability to penetrate a dense crop and reach its lower canopy can significantly boost the growing process. Planting earlier in the season can increase the amount of time a plant has to intercept light. Choosing hybrids with upright leaf structures can help the sun’s rays reach lower to the plant, improving photosynthesis, even in fields with narrow rows.
2. Check your soils for magnesium. The energy for photosynthesis comes from the chlorophyll that converts light into chemical energy. The chlorophyll molecule is built around magnesium. Therefore, soils deficient in magnesium will generate pale green plants because chlorophyll is lacking. In most cases, soils with a pH greater than six will have adequate magnesium. Soils low in magnesium are easy to fix with dolomitic limestone or blended fertilizer.
3. Use a biostimulant to improve photosynthesis. Using a biostimulant can improve the efficiency of photosynthesis by capturing more energy from the sun. The benefits of increasing this efficiency are greater energy production, carbon dioxide capture and root mass.
Procure® by Agnition Can Help Your Plants Conquer Even the Toughest Growing Season
Maxing out photosynthesis is the first line of defense against the stresses plants will encounter throughout the growing season. Promoting photosynthesis requires a healthy soil environment, proper plant density, adequate supplies of magnesium in the soil and protection from early pests. Now farmers can take an extra step and push photosynthesis using a biostimulant like Procure®. Procure increases photosynthesis with patented technology to help plants handle stress throughout the growing season.
Procure improves efficiency by promoting enzymatic activity through Microbial Catalyst®. Simply put, the enzymes are catalysts, and a catalyst is a substance that increases the speed of the reaction. Through its Microbial Catalyst technology, Procure supports the enzymes that are essential to drive photosynthesis and boost chlorophyll production. The product is easy to use as either an in-furrow or foliar application with rates in the range of 1-2 pints per acre.
Learn how Procure can help boost photosynthesis in your corn crop this year!