Trouble For Micros

The micronutrient outlook for the rest of 2006 can be looked at in two different ways, according to Jerry Stoller, president of Stoller Enterprises, Inc., Houston, TX. Good news or bad news first? We’ll go ahead and get the bad news out of the way.

The price of metals has increased so much during the past year that the cost of broadcasting zinc, manganese, and copper is very expensive.

“This will drive more people to put micronutrients in their starter fertilizer or infurrow,” Stoller says. “They will be using approximately 10% to 20% of the amount that would be needed if they broadcast-applied the micronutrients.”

Paul McCoy, Jr., president of NutriChem, a supplier partner to American Minerals, Dunedin, FL, notes that the high prices of macronutrients has created an unfortunate trickle down effect.

“Even when prices go high for major nutrients, growers aren’t going to grow anything without the NPK (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium) products,” he says. “Unfortunately the first thing that gets eliminated is micronutrients,” he says.

Zinc and copper have been the most troublesome micronutrients for 2006, McCoy says.’

“Zinc and copper prices are just out of sight,” he says. “They’ve been totally out of control because there’s just not a whole lot out there.”

Kerry Green, marketing director for Wolf Trax, Inc., Winnipeg, MB, CAN, agrees reduced availability has certainly posed a challenge.

“Worldwide production of zinc and copper materials is stagnant or decreasing and demand in markets (other than agriculture) is creating shortages in the agricultural market,” he says.

This, coupled with rising fuel and transportation costs, has resulted in price increases and volatility, particularly on granular products, Green says.

Spreading Some Good News

But now for the good news: Due to uptrends for ethanol and biodiesel, the support price underneath corn and soybeans looks very positive, Stoller says. This would be the first indicator that the demand for micronutrients should improve in 2007, Stoller says.

Also, the demand for micronutrients is directly proportional to crop prices, which spells positive news for the micro industry.

“This year should deliver stability and good prices; therefore, the inherent demand for micronutrients should increase,” Stoller says. “However, there will probably be a switch from granular micronutrients towards liquid micronutrients to reduce the current year’s expenditures.”

According to Green, producers are becoming increasingly aware of micronutrients’ role in crop production. For example, top producers are conscious of the general zinc deficiencies in North America and apply it as a matter of practice with corn. Getting into the “habit” of micronutrient investment is slowly spreading to other crops, too.

“I would say there is a growing body of producers and retailers who have a much better understanding of micronutrients, their role in crop production, and the impact on crop production and return on investment (ROI) when these nutrients are not available in sufficient amounts,” Green says.

Green says the negative impact of micronutrient deficiencies on plant health, quality, and ROI may be pushing some to take a second look.

Also, recent studies conducted at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, and Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, have resulted in awareness of the role manganese plays in glyphosate-tolerant soybean production.

Weather Or Not

In agricultural production, weather always plays a role, Green says.

“Generally speaking, when environmental conditions are favorable, producers are more inclined to invest in their crop,” he says. “We have experienced positive growth across North America this past year, so I would say weather conditions have been somewhat positive for micros.”

McCoy says NutriChem sales have been holding steady and weather has only shifted timing. Sales were slower in the beginning part of the summer, which is unusual, and then very busy the latter part of June and beginning of July.

“You never know because weather can go either way,” he says. “You can have a drought in one part of the country while another part is getting hit by floods.”

Leave a Reply

Micronutrients Stories
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
MicronutrientsReport: Demand For Zinc As Micronutrient In Agriculture Grows
May 12, 2014
Zinc is becoming more important to increasing crop yields as global population and food consumption continue to rise. Read More
Sulfur Deficiency In Corn
Micronutrients3 Key Questions For Sulfur Application
February 3, 2014
Match sulfur supply to corn crop’s needs to maximize yields and fertilizer dollars. Read More
Micronutrients11 Tips For Effective Fall Application Of Gypsum
September 26, 2013
Spreading gypsum – which often occurs in late fall, after harvest – is simple if you follow these basic steps from GYPSOIL. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More
ManagementMissouri Experts: Spring Planting Slow Start Won’…
April 20, 2015
In the first of the agronomy teleconferences with Extension specialists, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the slow Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
Industry NewsCooperative CHS Reports Net Income Of $471.5 Million Fo…
April 20, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has announced company net income Read More
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More