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Question of the Week – Phosphorus and Anthocyanins

Posted by romeethredge on April 27, 2013

Last week I had a photo of purple corn beside some normal looking corn. In this field the grower did not use pop up fertilizer ( fertilizer put close to the young plants that usually contains Phosphorus). He did use a good dose of preplant Phosphorus. At this spot in the field he changed corn hybrids and that is what we see here. One row is one variety and the other one is another variety. We ran a tissue analysis and a soil test here and the nutrients in the soil, including P were at sufficient levels. However the plant tissue was deficient in Phosphorus. We know that cool temperatures like we were having makes it difficult for plants to take up phosphorus. We also know that different corn hybrids sometimes respond differently to low nutrients in the tissue.

Another kink here is that the seed company says that the corn hybrid here that is purple sometimes has a buildup of anthocyanins, causing changes in plant color, with warm weather followed by cold rain and weather.  Since the tissue came back low we can say here the color was likely caused by low P due to cool conditions and the hybrid response to it.

Here’s a photo with the purple corn in the foreground and the green corn in the background.



One Response to “Question of the Week – Phosphorus and Anthocyanins”

  1. mark von Waldner said

    Male Flower on Squash

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