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

Aspire with Boron
Crop InputsStudy: Aspire with Boron Ups Alfalfa Yields
June 8, 2016
Alfalfa growers are successfully improving yields through the cutting season by applying an important micronutrient. In a recent study, The Read More
MicronutrientsCompass Minerals Expands Trial Work For Wolf Trax Innovative Nutrients
May 12, 2016
Fertilizer manufacturer Compass Minerals continues to expand the evaluation program for its Wolf Trax micronutrient fertilizer products, according to a Read More
MicronutrientsCharah Add Three Warehouses For SUL4R-PLUS Fertilizer
April 28, 2016
Charah, Inc., a total solutions company providing unparalleled service and innovation for the coal-fired power generation industry, announced today that Read More
Sul4R-Plus from Charah
MicronutrientsCharah Adds Two Products To Sul4R-Plus Fertilizer Product Line
March 23, 2016
Charah, Inc., a total solutions company providing agricultural products including SUL4R-PLUS fertilizer, announced the introduction of two new micronutrient products Read More
Trending Articles
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Latest News
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Host…
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsNew Leaf Symbiotics Snags Former Monsanto Microbials Le…
July 20, 2016
NewLeaf Symbiotics, announced today the appointment of Dr. Janne Kerovuo as Vice President for Research and Discovery.  Dr. Kerovuo comes Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurfac…
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Ag…
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of…
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Latest Monsanto Rumors: A Game Of Tones
July 18, 2016
When companies are engaged in the back-and-forth of the acquisition game, the tone of their various announcements is always important. Read More
Nozzle spray close-up
AdjuvantsWest Central Distribution Introduces New Elite Family O…
July 14, 2016
West Central Distribution recently released a new line of Elite adjuvants to work alongside the new herbicide technologies that combat Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsBayer Makes New Offer For Monsanto
July 14, 2016
Bayer AG boosted its takeover offer for Monsanto Co. to about $65 billion in a bid to overcome the U.S. Read More
ManagementAn Update on Water
July 14, 2016
CropLife Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matthew Grassi discuss agricultural water issues in conjunction with a recent field trip in Ohio. Read More
Co-Alliance employee
EmployeesNew Purdue Program To Focus On Talent Management
July 14, 2016
Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business is starting a new professional development program to help food and agribusiness Read More
Industry NewsFMC Agricultural Solutions Appoints New Global Regulato…
July 14, 2016
FMC Corp. has named Andy Hedgecock as Global Regulatory Affairs Director for FMC Agricultural Solutions. He joins the company this Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechWhat Can Inoculants Do For You?
July 13, 2016
When it comes to preventing disease and promoting growth in your plants, who couldn’t use a helping hand? By forming Read More
Microbes
Seed/BiotechMighty Farming Microbes: Companies Harness Bacteria To …
July 13, 2016
What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural Read More