Soybean Tissue Sampling - July 2012
I’m Nathan Slaton with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. [Video shows a soybean field.]
We’re in the middle of a soybean field today because this soybean field has a problem. Plants, just like humans, sometimes get sick and need to see a doctor. Sometimes we have to sample the tissue and send it into a lab in order to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem. [University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System. Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Nathan Slaton, Professor and Director of Soil Testing, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.] [Video shows Nathan standing in a field.]
First thing when we get into the field, we also want to take note of the growth stage. Whether it has blooms, how many nodes it has, whether there’s pod, and if there are pods, how well developed they are. [Nathan is holding a soybean plant.]
When we are trying to sample the tissue, the first question is, what part of the plant do we sample? Well, we could take the whole plant, but in this particular case it’s not required. For plants of this size, what we need to do is to find the growing point and look at the leaves from the start and you can see that this particular leaf is not mature. It is still expanding and growing, so we don’t want to sample this leaf. This leaf is also still expanding, so when we go down one more node, we find a mature, what we call trifoliate leaf and for soybean, that’s what we want is a mature trifoliate leaf towards the top of the plant.
Once we have located those leaves, you can take a couple of those if you’d like, but we just pinch the trifoliate leaf off of what is called the petiole. We leave the petiole on the plant and we take the trifoliate leaf.
Once we have collected these leaves, we would then encourage you to put them in a paper sack, because the first thing that the laboratory does is we’re going to dry them when the lab receives it, so you put those leaves in a paper sack, put it on your dashboard, let the heat of the day dry them out before you mail them or deliver them to your county extension office.
So if you need further assistance, find us at uaex.edu or contact your local county extension office. [University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. www.uaex.edu.]