Importance of Micronutrients

"Micronutrients are to agriculture as vitamins are to the human diet." - Braun

To date, about 16 different elements or nutrients have been found to be essential for crops. These nutrients or elements include three organic, three primary, and three secondary. The balance are made up of micronutrients.

The three organic nutrients - carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - are taken directly from the air and water. The three primary nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Farmers have been replacing these for the last 20 or 30 years.

But what about all the other nutrients? With ever improving farming practices, the use of high-yield varieties, increasing yields and the fact that we have already mined 40 or more years’ supply of nutrients out of our soil - isn’t it about time that we started to replace them also? Let’s take a look at the role they play.

The secondary nutrients, magnesium, calcium and sulfur, are just as important to your crops as the 3 primary nutrients. For example, your crop requires more calcium than all other nutrients combined. Have you ever wondered why barley bushel weights have been decreasing while lodging has been increasing during the past few years? Calcium is one of the main elements that increases the weight of your crop. While sulfur forms part of your plant’s enzymes and proteins, it is also required for metabolic functions. Magnesium is required for photosynthesis and protein synthesis.

The remaining required nutrients include 6 trace elements - the six essential micronutrients. They are manganese, iron, copper, zinc, boron and molybdenum and are all essential for maximum crop growth, health and yield. These micronutrients are often needed in quantities greater than the soil can supply.

Micronutrient Content In Our Soil

Sandy soils and soils low in organic matters are usually low in micronutrient content. However, crops grown on soil very high in organic matter (6% or more) often need more micronutrients than low organic soil. Please consider also that almost any natural condition or farm practice that slows down root growth and development can induce micronutrient deficiencies (including chemical fertilization and herbicide application). Also watch out for deficiencies when the following conditions occur in the field:

  • High organic matter (6% or more)
  • High phosphates with low micronutrient levels
  • High sand content of soil
  • Drought
  • Compaction
  • Land leveling and forming
  • High PH (above 7.0)

Micronutrients in PowerRich Fertilizer

The granular micronutrients used by PowerRich are in a class by themselves! They are classified as "complexed" or "sequestered". Like chelates, they have the ability to "hold" metal ions in such a way as to protect them from being tied-up by the soil particles and converted into an insoluble form. This means that the micronutrients used by PowerRich move both laterally and vertically with soil moisture becoming equally distributed throughout the root zone. Other sources of micronutrients depend on root interception which means the roots need to find the nutrient source once tie-up has occurred. This is critical since roots come in contact with only 1-2% of soil surface area.

Because the granular micronutrients used by PowerRich are complexed and remain available, less material is required per acre to correct nutrient deficiencies. The natural organic complexing agents contained in the micronutrients used by PowerRich also contribute additional benefits such as:

  • Act as a buffering material in alkaline soils allowing for improved plant uptake
  • Improved safety tolerance allowing granular placement in the root zone of seedling plants
  • Enhances early season vigor which leads to healthier plants throughout the growing season
  • Improved uptake and transport on N, P and K along with other secondary and micro-elements
  • Enhanced protein synthesis and enzyme activity
  • Reduces the active levels of toxic elements and enhances microbial populations
  • Combine with nutrients to create a synergistic effect on growth

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