Importance of Micronutrients – Derek Porter

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Importance of Micronutrients – Derek Porter

At a recent conference I attended, one of the presenters made the statement that it doesn’t pay to apply micro nutrients. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this statement and most likely won’t be the last. Not only are micro nutrients crucial to plant growth, in certain cases a micronutrient deficiency could be the most limiting nutrient. Think of a micro nutrient as a spark plug in an engine. It’s the catalyzing agent that makes plant process’s go. Sense they act as catalyzing agents (or signals that stimulate plant process’s and ultimately growth) they are needed in smaller amounts then major or secondary nutrients. Hence why they don’t get the attention they need. The micronutrients to pay closest attention are zinc, boron, manganese, copper, iron, and molybdenum. At Soil Service we offer all essential micro nutrients to fit your nutrient needs. We also offer our Foliar Opp foliar fertilizer for both corn, soybeans, and alfalfa to provide both major and micro nutrients in season at key growth stages.

Here are 12 key points to remember about micro nutrients and their application: 1. Micronutrients can be more limiting in cooler wetter soils early in the season. 2. Having the proper amounts of major, secondary, and micro nutrients is crucial early on in corn when ear size is being determined. 3. Phosphorus and zinc must be in the proper relationship with each other to optimize uptake and utilization. This is why we recommend 1 quart of EDTA chelated zinc in our starter blends. 4. Boron is important in grain fill and nitrogen movement and utilization. 5. Proper levels of boron and copper help fight rust and fungus diseases. 6. Grain test weight can be greatly influenced by proper micronutrient levels. 7. Molybdenum helps nitrogen fixation in legumes. 8. Manganese helps with germination and emergence of young seedlings. 9. Manganese and boron aids in flower and seed set as well as flower retention in soybeans. 10. Implementing an NPK fertilizer with your micronutrients helps with the intake and movement of micronutrients throughout the plant. Our Foliar Opp contains our 3-18-18-1 starter fertilizer plus micronutrients to fit this need. 11. Our Soil Boost Plus helps with the utilization of foliar applied micronutrients with its intake and translocation agents. This product also has pH lowering esters that provides a solution more curtailed to the plants liking. 12. Always make sure you have plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, and magnesium before you focus heavily on micro nutrients.

Rely on our team at Soil Service to help you customize plans for your soil and plant nutrient needs. Our goal here is help you maximize production and most importantly your profitability. As always thank you for your support of our services and products.


Derek Porter CCA Illinois Salesman