There are many things to consider when mixing nutrients together. These are the top 5:
1) Are The Nutrients Compatible?
- It’s important to understand the difference between ortho-phosphate and polyphosphate fertilizers. Orthophosphate is a negatively-charged anion and is absorbed through the root of the plant. Polyphosphate is a string of orthophosphate anions hooked together due to chemical bonding and is usually a liquid fertilizer. Think of the way in which you want to apply your fertilizer and then make sure you are equipped to do that.
- Considering micronutrients is one of the most important items – different micronutrients bind to things in the soil and can either inhibit or encourage plant nutrient uptake.
- Fully chelated, partially chelated or non-chelated fertilizers will present different outcomes to your yield, so consider which will work best given your soil pH and other field factors.
2) Are They Safe For The Crop?
- The salt index varies between fertilizers, and certain crops are more sensitive to salt than others. Compare the salt indexes in your fertilizer options before applying to your field.
- The kinds of crops you are planting determines the kind of fertilizer you will want to use. Make sure you discuss the best options with your retailer.
3) Will The Nutrients Be Available For Plant Uptake When They Come Into Contact With The Soil?
- Are the nutrients in your fertilizer chelated? If so, find out what chelating agent is used, as some chelates form incomplete bonds with nutrients in the soil and consequently don’t provide seeds with the best possible start.
- Do the nutrients in your fertilizer have the potential to tie each other up? Some nutrients bind to each other, making uptake by the plant very difficult. Learning what nutrients interact well together is essential to understanding your yield potential.
4) Does The Crop Show A Yield Response To The Nutrients In The Mix?
- You can’t know right off the bat which fertilizer will help increase your yield the most, so test a few areas of your field with different options to make an educated decision regarding what fertilizer your plants respond to best.
5) Are The Nutrients Being Placed Where The Crop Has Access To Them?
- There are many different theories as to what helps crops reach their highest yield potential. At LIFT, we know that getting the plant the right amount of nutrients at the right place and time is vital to the success of the crop.
- Placing nutrients in the furrow with the seed means immediate access to certain macro and micronutrients that assist with the enzymatic breakdown of seed starches, resulting in quicker access to energy reserves and faster germination and emergence.