Steve Roehl from West Central Distribution discussed chelating agents for plant nutrition, particularly Levesol™, at our LIFT Summit in October 2015. He explains that a good chelating agent will enhance the availability and uptake of nutrients, and discusses exactly how it does this.
Check out an excerpt from his presentation below:
Chelating Agents For Plant Nutrition Transcript
How many people in the room have heard of Levesol? There’s a few people, but I ought to give a little background on it.
Levesol is a chelating agent, and what a chelating agent does, is it has a really strong affinity for positively charged nutrients. Particularly the transition metals, those being zinc, iron, manganese and copper, which are essential nutrients for plant growth. This particular product is something that we can utilize alone, but it’s most often recommended to be utilized with other fertilizers, as it enhances the availability and uptake of nutrients.
For those of you that were not familiar with the product, let’s get in depth on what Levesol is. First of all, to understand the concept behind Levesol you need to know that plant nutrition relates to ions.
Nutrients are taken up in specific ionic forms – we all know that – and this requires consideration to balance and equilibrium. I think too many people think about balance and think, “I’m just going to provide a balanced fertilizer to my soil.” They don’t give any consideration to the ionic balances that are going on both outside and inside the plant when we fertilize one nutrient more than we might need to, nor the interactions that can take place and the influence they can have other nutrients.
Levesol is a chelating agent.
A chelating agent, by definition, has a high affinity for positively charged nutrients. When it holds on to or associates with these nutrients, it doesn’t make them unavailable, but it actually solubilizes the nutrients.
To steal a term from another fellow that talked about nutrients, “Plants can’t chew their food, they have to drink,” so solubilization is a big deal. When Levesol holds nutrients in the soil, it holds them in a soluble form.
The word “chelate” comes from the word claw; it represents the way the molecule actually bends around the nutrient to hold onto it tightly and protect them.