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Re: Stalk strength in Minn. vs. Ark

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Stalk strength in Minn. vs. Ark
  • From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <cwalters@digitalpla.net>
  • Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 20:59:41 -0600 (MDT)

Robert Stassen writes:
> > 
> > What is the 'conventional wisdom' on this?  I'm apt to attribute it to
> > pH, but I can't figure out what nutrient is unavailable due to the
lower pH
> > --or is it the lack of a nutrient associated with organic matter, such
> > nitrogen.  (

and Walter Moores replied:

> I have always heard that superphosphate strengthens
> the stalks. I use lots of that and have started incorporating alfalfa
> pellets when I make a new bed.


According to my old Farm Soils textbook, Nitrogen and Potassium in the soil
are highly available to plants from pH 5.8 to over 8.0. However, optimum
Phosphorus availability in restricted to pH levels betweem 6.0 and 7.0.
Above and below that range it declines (for different reasons). The same
source indicates that Phosphorus is concentrated in rapidly growing parts
of the plant and strengthens the straw in small grains, which seems to fit
in with Walter's comment. Perhaps, these facts are related to your
observations on the differences in stalk strength in Minnesota and

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4, Sunset Zone 2)

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