Just like with everything else in crop production, it’s important to understand what you’re using before you commit to putting it in the ground.
We’ve covered the science behind chelating agents, but in the video below, Steve Roehl from West Central Distribution discusses why an ortho-ortho EDDHA chelate is the best option for nutrient uptake:
Steve explains that the structure of an ortho-ortho EDDHA chelate makes it very stable, because of the position of specific hydroxyl groups that close off interference from other particles and prevent chemical or microbial breakdown.
This stability allows the chelate to last for a longer amount of time in the soil than any other kind of chelate, like an ortho-para chelate and the longer that the chelate can reside in the rhizosphere, the more opportunity there is to protect and deliver nutrients to the plant.
Most other chelates can only stay in the ground for a couple hours or days. Whereas Levesol™, the ortho ortho chelate that Steve discusses in the video can remain in the ground for up to 60 days and once absorbed into the plant can continue to protect nutrients throughout the growing season, which aids in maintaining the crops’ nutrient supply during the entire growing season.
Chelates In Agriculture Transcript
Now this is important, and it gets into chemistry.
Levesol is an ortho-ortho EDDHA. The ortho-ortho is important, because these relate to the positions of hydroxyl groups on the benzene rings that allow for certain bonds to take place with the nutrient. It’s important because it has everything to do with the stability of this particular molecule.
Not every chelate can stay out in the soil across wide pH ranges and last very long, but this one can, and I’ll show you why.
If you take a look at the two dimensional diagram, I put iron in the middle. It could be zinc, manganese or copper, any of those transition metals that have a positive charge. But if you take a look at these two hydroxyl groups, that’s where the ortho-ortho portion comes from.
I’m going to use this later on in the presentation, because my thumbs are going to represent those two arms, those hydroxyl groups.
There is another EDDHA out there. If you take one of those arms away it’s an ortho-para. It does not have the stability now, because you’ve lost one of the arms, and if you take one of those away it allows for microorganisms or chemical hyrdrolysis reactions to sneak in there and break apart the molecule.
This has everything to do with the stability and longevity of this molecule, and that’s why this chelate is different from any other chelate whose primary responsibility is being basically just a formulation chelate. Those are the ones you add to formulations of fertilizer so that they mix together well and don’t fall out in your tank.
Has anybody cleaned out a tank of cottage cheese when you throw unchelated zinc into a high phosphorus force? That’s not a fun day, that’s what happens when you don’t have good chelation and it is the same thing that happens to nutrients in soils without effective soil chelation.