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.

Making Their Mark

Phosphorus. Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP) continues in its prosperity with phosphorus technology. Its product, AVAIL, uses Nutrisphere Technology, allowing phosphate to remain free in the soil. Yields may increase up to 15% and potatoes, corn, wheat, sugar beets, soybeans, rice, and onions have all had proven response.

DDP. Wolf Trax, Inc. successfully launched its Dry Dispersable Powder DDP Micronutrients as a planter box treatment (grower applied) and as a seed treatment (professionally applied with other seed treatments). These treatments are coated directly onto the seed, which provides an agronomic advantage through efficient distribution of the nutrients in the soil.

And as Kerry Green, marketing director at Wolf Trax, says: “DDP Micronutrients provide an opportunity to save money on freight, storage, and handling, which are the ‘hidden costs’ of their business.

■ Carboxylate. NutriChem has another 10 years remaining on its carboxylate patent. This product, an oxide complex, is non-staining, which has been huge for the company, says President Paul McCoy, Jr.
 

“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

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

Trending Articles

EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More

Latest News

ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Names New Manager Of Federal Government Relati…
August 18, 2014
Laura Wood Peterson has joined Syngenta as manager of federal government relations, based in Washington, DC. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science …
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Factory Layoffs
August 18, 2014
Deere & Co. has announced it will reduce the size of its manufacturing workforce at some agricultural equipment factories in response to current market demand for its products. Read More
HerbicidesNew DuPont Afforia Herbicide Gives Crops A Clean Start
August 18, 2014
DuPont Afforia is a preplant herbicide for soybeans and other field crops that provides excellent burndown and residual control of many challenging weeds, such as marestail and waterhemp. Read More
Equipment21 Products Showcased At MAGIE 2014
August 18, 2014
The annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition is upon us. Here is CropLife IRON's look at some of the products visitors can expect to see at this week's event. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Seeks Nominations For 2014 Operator Of The Year
August 15, 2014
Ag retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to nominate their best applicators. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
ManagementCropLife’s Buyers’ Guide Issue Now Availabl…
August 13, 2014
One of our most read issues of the year — the August Buyers' Guide — is ready to download on the iPad. This popular issue features equipment for "In The Field," "At The Plant" and "In The Office." Read More
WebinarsWebinars On Demand
August 13, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
HerbicidesBASF: Fall Burndown Benefits Go Beyond Weed Control
August 12, 2014
While unpredictable weather may delay application timing of spring herbicides, more growers are adding a burndown application in the fall Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide P…
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipNitrogen Efficiency Supports Environmental Stewardship
August 12, 2014
As growers prepare for another harvest, it’s important to consider how nitrogen stabilization not only supports healthy plant growth but also fosters environmental stewardship. Read More
Seed/BiotechMycogen Seeds Introduces 19 New Corn Hybrids For 2015
August 12, 2014
Many of the new hybrids feature Mycogen's SmartStax Refuge Advanced technology for maximum protection of the genetic potential and planting convenience. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces Enlist Ahead App For Enlist…
August 12, 2014
Designed for use with the Enlist Weed Control System, the app is a precision agriculture tool for maximizing weed control performance, managing weed resistance and making responsible applications of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Announces Senior Leadership Team Changes
August 12, 2014
Current CHS strategic leadership team member Shirley Cunningham will assume a new role as executive vice president and chief operating officer, Ag Business and Enterprise Strategy. Read More