Sound Advice: Using Tissue Tests to Track Performance and Plant Health

Across the country, Sound Agriculture’s agronomists are visiting fields to conduct tissue testing in order to get a full picture of plant health and share data with growers about how SOURCE™ is benefiting their crops. In this installment of Sound Advice, join Rich Haynes in a northern Indiana cornfield as he discusses the importance of tissue testing for corn and how growers can do their own tissue tests to better understand product performance.

Tissue sampling is an important tool that can help growers understand the overall health of their crops and get detailed insight into how products like SOURCE are performing on their fields. By sampling tissues from both treated and untreated plants, growers can see how SOURCE is performing in their fields. 

SOURCE activates the natural microbes in the soil to improve nutrient availability and soil fertility. This is especially important late in the season heading towards grain fill, when corn needs plenty of nitrogen and phosphorus to support yield. 

Whether you’re looking to test and validate a new product, like SOURCE for Corn, or simply understand plant health at a particular time in the growing season, the process Sound’s agronomists use to ensure an accurate and representative tissue test is simple and easy to replicate. 

  1. Get off the edges and the turn row. Head into the field where you know the product has been evenly applied. 

  2. Take 15 top leaves, with the collar.

  3. Collect leaves at a diagonal angle. This allows you to get a good field representation and compensate for any potential issues with the sprayer or unevenness in application. 

  4. Avoid mold if you can’t ship them immediately. Either refrigerate the leaves or lay them out to air dry until you can ship them. 

  5. Label the leaves. It’s important not to get the samples mixed up, so be sure to label whether the leaves were from treated or untreated plants. 

  6. Pack the leaves and ship them. Within just a few days, you’ll have a more detailed picture of a field’s overall health, allowing you to validate new products or methods and address any concerns.

Growers strive to provide their crops with the macro- and micronutrients the plants need to thrive. Sometimes, plants can tell growers whether they’re experiencing nutrient deficiency with visual cues like purpling or yellowing leaves, but when it comes to boosting yield and protecting their investment, growers need to be proactive. Our agronomists use tissue sampling not only to validate SOURCE performance in a particular field, but also to help growers maintain yield by providing an opportunity to address nutrient deficiencies as soon as possible.