Soils Hungry For Micros

Tiger Micronutrients

Experts say three good yield years – with vigorous plants tapping soils – mean it’s definitely time to apply micronutrients in 2010. But how do prices and supplies look?

Raw material prices are variable and may rise with an improving economy, in part because micro firms are competing with food and pharmaceutical industries for ingredients, says Rod Riech, product manager, Brandt Consolidated. One bright spot is that metal prices – with the exception of copper and zinc – seem fairly steady. But beyond cost, supplies of raw materials were still good at presstime.

One problem that may arise involves product transport during heavy spring applications. “We are concerned with transportation issues as demand increases and large volumes are needed to fill the pipeline,” says Jeff Ivan, manager of marketing and business development at Tiger-Sul Products. In conditions like this, Kerry Green, managing director at Wolf Trax, Inc. feels his company has an advantage: “Our high analysis powders, packaged in 20-pound boxes significantly reduce the amount of transportation and handling required.”

And David Benefield, senior vice president at Frit Inc., says most companies have gone through the high-priced inventories they had last spring. Indeed, adds Green, “Field inventories are low and a big rush on spring purchases could significantly lessen supply.”

Micronutrient makers, however, feel ready and are ramping up production to meet the rush. For example, “with three North American production facilities as well as a licensed facility in South Africa we are in excellent position to supply products when demand increases,” says Ivan. Frit has also increased production of its low analysis, high soluble zinc products to meet the rush.

Though suppliers are optimistic, they realize customers are more cautious than ever these days. “Despite the fact that our prices have remained stable over the past year, the volatility of the macronutrient and commodity-based product market has had a significant impact on our customers’ buying patterns,” says Green.

Application Advice

Manufacturers are convinced that the need for micronutrient application is particularly pressing this year. “Because of higher prices many growers reduced or left out the micronutrients in their fertilizer program. This has certainly caused a reduction in the soil level, and farmers will need to add those nutrients to the mix to prevent deficiencies,” says Benefield. Companies offered some tips as spring application approaches:

Time applications carefully. Differ­ent micronutrients play specific roles throughout different growth stages, says Riech. Applying the right micronutrient at the right time is key. He adds that “in today’s high-yielding environments, applying micronutrients is more than just correcting deficiencies – it’s increasing the health of the plant and helping it reach its genetic potential” at harvest.

Watch the weather. The biggest problem Jerry Stoller, president of Stoller USA, foresees in the 2010 growing season would be a lack of moisture and hotter temperatures. “This will put much more stress on the crop during the growing season and pollination season,” he says. Moisture and temperature have a much greater effect than lack of nutrients when producing maximum yields, he adds. This season Stoller anticipates higher demand for the company’s Bio-Forge, which lowers stress ethylene.

Don’t forget sulfur. In a surprising environmental development, researchers have found that North American soils are short on sulfur due in part to the reduction of acid rain. “As we clean up our atmosphere many regions that had been getting adequate sulfur from the atmosphere are now seeing sulfur deficiency,” explains Ivan. In fact, Ti­ger-Sul Products has seen increased shipments of Tiger 90CR Sulphur to these areas, where dealers are adding the product to their NPK blends either alone or with ammonium sulfate for improved sulfur availability. “Our research in Illinois has shown that without sulphur, yields are dramatically lower and nitrogen utilization can be down as much as 30%,” says Ivan.

Know how herbicides and micronutrients interact. Companies are addressing the antagonism that can occur between micronutrients and herbicides that can reduce performance. Riech points out Brandt Smart System products were specifically designed to eliminate this problem. “Glyphosate-resistant weeds are becoming a bigger issue every year and more complex tank mixes of more than one herbicide are the result,” he says. “This puts a heavier load on the plant and our products help eliminate some of the stresses caused by these applications.”

Trust your experience. Recommend or practice production practices that have been successful for you in the past, says Green. “For example, if you have used zinc as part of your fertility package then continue to do so. Remember that no one knows their land or business better than you.”

Dealers can help their customers decide what type of product works best for their crops – liquid, granular, or powder.

Dirk Lohry, president of Nulex Inc. explains that Nulex Liquid Zinc is a clear liquid product designed to blend directly into liquid fertilizers and suspensions without agitation or premixing. It’s most effective when added to a liquid starter banded next to the seed at planting time — or it can be applied broadcast, he says.

The Mosaic Company‘s MicroEssen­tials SZ (containing nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and zinc) is a granule is placed near developing roots. It contains sulfonated zinc, a water-soluble nutrient source that allows for good zinc uptake, says Dan Froehlich, Mosaic’s U.S. agronomy manager. “MicroEssentials is safer for emerging plants than other fertilizer options when placed with the seed,” he adds.

Green says his retailer customers have especially liked the ease of handling, and performance of Wolf Trax DDP Micronutrients. The innovative formulation adheres to fertilizer, resulting in more consistent blends. Six different micronutrients can be applied at different rates, increasing the grower’s flexibility.

Suppliers continue to develop nutrient choices for stronger plants. Stoller is testing a new experimental product in conjunction with Texas A&M University that set a record soybean yield — 166.8 bushels per acre — last year.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Micronutrients Stories

Dry fertilizer Blend
MicronutrientsMicros 2016: Target Those Nutrients
February 2, 2016
Daniel Kaiser, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist, has headed up quite a few micronutrient yield Read More
Paul Reising Compass Minerals
MicronutrientsQ&A With Compass Minerals’ Paul Reising
January 6, 2016
Paul Reising has worked in the agriculture and crop nutrition industry for more than 25 years. He comes to Compass Read More
MicronutrientsBoron’s Importance In Plant Development And Growth
December 30, 2015
One of the micronutrients that is essential for crop health also happens to be one of the most deficient in Read More
MicronutrientsSoil Conditions And The Need For Zinc Fertilizer
December 16, 2015
Zinc (Zn) is an essential nutrient required in some fertilizer programs for crop production. While some soils are capable of Read More
Top 100 Articles
Elburn Cooperative
CropLife 100Elburn Cooperative Members Vote To Join CHS
December 28, 2015
With 81% of eligible producers voting, 94% cast an affirmative ballot for Elburn Cooperative, a diversified agricultural retailer based out Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Farmers Cooperative-West Central Merger Approved
December 21, 2015
The members of Farmers Cooperative Co. (FC), Ames, IA, and West Central Cooperative, Ralston, IA, have both approved the merger Read More
Wheat Growers Innovation Center, Bath, SD
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Opens Innovation Center
December 21, 2015
Wheat Growers’ commitment in providing its farmer-owners with the latest in technological advancements now has a one-of-a-kind focal point, as Read More
CropLife 100ARA Selects The Andersons As 2015 Retailer Of The Year
December 9, 2015
The Agricultural Retailers Association today named Maumee, OH-based The Andersons as its Retailer of the Year for 2015. The award Read More
CPS Washington Court House John Deere Sprayer
CropLife 100Application Equipment Report: It Is Easy Being Green For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 5, 2015
On The Muppets television show, Kermit the Frog is famous for singing a song about the troubles he encounters in Read More
Fertilizer Bin
CropLife 100Fertilizer Sales: Another Down Year For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 4, 2015
In pure number terms, the fertilizer category still dominates all crop inputs/services among CropLife 100 ag retailers. In 2015, for Read More
Latest News
Crop Protection Products in storage
Crop InputsNewsweek: World Is ‘Awash In Glyphosate’
February 11, 2016
The world is awash in glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, produced by Monsanto. It has now become Read More
Crop InputsEPA: Let’s Talk Imidacloprid, Bees On February 18
February 11, 2016
EPA will hold an online technical briefing on its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, on Feb. Read More
ManagementThe latest on Syngenta-ChemChina Deal
February 11, 2016
Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf invites Jackie Pucci and Dave Frabotta from sister publication AgriBusiness Global to discuss the latest developments Read More
AdjuvantsUniversity of Illinois Confirms Adjuvant’s Perfor…
February 11, 2016
An independent University of Illinois study has shown that WETCIT adjuvant, now with TransPhloem technology, provides greater herbicide uptake and Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta’s Acuron Flexi Receives EPA Approval
February 11, 2016
Growers looking to control their toughest weeds with flexibility will have access to Acuron Flexi corn herbicide from Syngenta, now Read More
EquipmentAGCO Showcases White Planters 9800VE Series Planters AT…
February 11, 2016
AGCO unveiled the new White Planters 9800VE Series planter during the 2016 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. The Read More
EquipmentCase Unveils 2000 Series Early Riser Planter At NFMS
February 10, 2016
Case IH revealed the all-new 2000 Series Early Riser planter to media and attendees at the opening of the National Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta: Keep Ag In Mind During Election Season
February 10, 2016
As presidential candidates stake out their 2016 election platforms and key priorities, growers and their business partners should seek opportunities Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Submits New Bio-Fungicide For E…
February 9, 2016
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) today announced that it has submitted a new biological fungicide (MBI-110) to EPA. The broad spectrum Read More
Crop InputsWeed Expert: Adding A Second Herbicide Not Always Easy
February 9, 2016
In my last post, I reviewed some recent research that suggests one of the best ways to delay the evolution Read More
Crop InputsGenetic Literacy Project: Farmers Need More Herbicide C…
February 9, 2016
There are two things that I think just about every weed scientist can agree on, writes Andrew Kniss for The Read More
HerbicidesWeed Expert Warns North Dakota Growers Of Coming Herbic…
February 9, 2016
Ford Baldwin painted a bleak picture of weed control at a recent workshop here exploring the future of ag production, Read More
HerbicidesWSSA Announces New, Updated Free Web Resources
February 9, 2016
Today the Weed Science Society of American (WSSA) announced that new and updated educational materials for both weed scientists and Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesFour Arysta Fungicide Formulations Given FIFRA Approval…
February 8, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the issuance of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 2(ee) Recommendations for Read More
FungicidesAgri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus Receives EPA Registrat…
February 8, 2016
Vivid Life Sciences has announced the EPA registration of Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus, a highly concentrated active ingredient phosphite fungicide, Read More
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More