Saturday, June 12, 2010

Do It Right the First Time!

So the other day I wanted to take some corn tissue samples for nutrient analysis. I do this every year, but I still need to review the correct sampling method and how to determine the correct growth stage of the corn that I am sampling. An error in any one of these can lead to wrong results, and no one wants that. There are various guidelines you can find from the labs, but who remembers where they put those? An excellent reference was prepared by Stephanie and is on the website. (Go to the Research tab, and on the right side under "Other Resources" there is a piece you can bring up called "Tissue Sampling Guidelines". It has great pictures that even someone from Norman, Oklahoma could follow.)

But here I am sampling a leaf from corn in the V6 stage of growth. It is easy to see the uppermost leaf with a collar. The leaves above it may be big, but they have no collar (or white ring on the undercarriage) and are still in the whorl. So don't take those. I also like to use some scissors to get an even and uniform cut of an entire leaf. Plus it's faster. I guess it's best to use stainless scissors, and not some that may be rusty. So the old saying of: "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" certainly applies to tissue sampling.

I am off on yet another fertilizer mission next week, but will keep you posted of events both on and off the NCRS. Thanks for reading.