Zinc and Soil pH Recommendation Discussion Peanut Notes No. 14 2024

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Question:

A farmer wants your opinion on planning peanuts based on these soil samples. If I’m reading them right we are border line on the pHs.

Jordan:

We are still working through our recommendation and have invested a good bit of time trying to see if there is more margin than our index of 250 as a firm cutoff regardless of pH. Based on work this past year, I do think if the pH is 6.5, you can go up from 250. Based on our preliminary findings, I am comfortable with a pH of 6.5 and zinc index of 750. Not ready to go higher but might be after one more year. Keep in mind the report you provided is likely an average for the field. That can be misleading. In my experience there are almost always hot spots due to how the product was applied in terms of uniformity. So the fields you have with around 700 or so might have spots that are well above 1000. You might have noticeable damage in those areas. With that said, the pH of 6.5 will buffer against damage even in areas with higher zinc indices. I’m spending a good bit of time on this at the meetings. If you can catch one of those it might help you see where we are coming from.

Hardy:

Our soil test guidance was set decades ago. As indicated in David’s comments, in addition to Zn levels, soil pH is a large factor controlling potential toxicity but keep in mind field variability around what the sample represents.