Balance is critical in plant nutrition. An excess of one nutrient can cause reduced uptake of another. An excess of potassium, for example, may compete with desirable levels of magnesium uptake. In fields with marginal or low zinc levels, a heavy application of phosphorus may induce a zinc deficiency in soil. Excess iron may cause a manganese deficiency, so the proper ratio of manganese to iron must be maintained. The proper balance of micronutrients in the soil is an often overlooked management objective. Micronutrient products can be economically added to your planter-time fertilizer program to prevent yield robbing deficiencies. Accurate soil testing is a great preventative tool. But, if in season deficiencies are discovered our micros can also effectively be foliar applied . Justus von Liebig propounded the “Law of the Minimum”. It states that if one of the nutritive elements is deficient or lacking, plant growth will be poor even when all other elements are abundant. A crop will only produce to the potential of the least usable nutrient.
Quality, precision placement, seed and foliar safe
100% EDTA chelated
NACHURS 100% EDTA chelated micronutrients are designed to be combined with NACHURS liquid starters and foliars, allowing the product to be placed directly with the seed at planting time, or on the plant foliage. NACHURS products have a neutral pH and are low in both salt index and impurities. Placement with the seed allows the EDTA chelated micronutrients along with the available phosphorus and potassium to be taken up at the critical early stages of growth to maximize yield potential.
NACHURS EDTA chelated micronutrients are formulated to mix with NACHURS fertilizers on the plant foliage, allowing for fast absorption into the plant in a very short period of time. This rapid uptake at critical growth stages promotes plant health and increased yield potential.
NACHURS liquid starters and foliars when mixed with NACHURS EDTA chelated micronutrients are immediately available to the plant during the critical early stages of growth.
• NACHURS EDTA chelates can be applied to soil at planting time or foliar spray applied directly to the plant.
• Always refer to a soil or tissue report to determine the nutrients needed to correct micronutrient deficiencies.
• Preventing micronutrient deficiencies in crops is far better than correcting them after symptoms appear.
Manganese is essential to plants but too much is toxic. Manganese functions in chlorophyll development & serves as a catalyst in several enzyme systems in the oxidation-reduction process. Manganese deficiencies are very similar to iron deficiencies & appears in the younger leaves of the plant first. Colour may be pale between the veins of broadleaf plants.
Boron is vital to the growth & development of the plant. Without adequate Boron, new growth ceases. It is necessary in the pollination & seed production stages. Boron is essential for maintaining a balance between sugars & starches. A small amount of Boron is beneficial to plants but too much can be toxic to plants.
Copper is important as a co-enzyme. It is needed to activate several plant enzymes, including building & converting amino acids to proteins. Since Copper is an immobile nutrient, deficiency symptoms usually occur on new growth. Copper deficient plants will become chlorotic &take on a bleached appearance. New growth may die.
Zinc is necessary for starch formation and proper root development. It is also essential for seed formation & maturity. The most common nutrient deficiencies include interveinal chlorosis on older leaves with shortening of the intermodal area. This shortening often leaves a short compressed plant with a rosetted appearance.
Molybdenum is required by plants for utilization of nitrogen. Plants cannot transform nitrate nitrogen into amino acids. Without molybdenum legumes cannot symbiotically fix atmospheric nitrogen.*
Iron is required for the formation of chlorophyll in plant cells. It serves as an activator for biochemical processes such as respiration, photo-synthesis and symbiotic nitrogen fixation.*
Magnesium is the key element in the molecule of chlorophyll. It regulates the uptake of other nutrients in the plant and acts as a carrier of phosphorous in the plant. Deficiencies usually occur in sandy soils or in soils with extremely high pH. Magnesium deficiencies cause corn plants to develop light yellow or white appearance between the parallel veins.
A secondary element in plant nutrition, calcium is needed in the plant to promote early root formation and growth. Improves general plant vigor and stiffness of stalk. With Calcium deficiencies, leaves have a wrinkled or crinkled appearance and in some instances, young leaves may never unfold. Roots are also short and are very bunched.
*Taken from: Western Fertilizers Handbook
Why use NACHURS EDTA chelated micronutrients?
Even though micronutrients are required in minute quantities, they are essential for healthy plant growth and profitable crop production. NACHURS EDTA chelated micronutrients provide an economical source for correcting nutrient deficiencies and improving plant health. NACHURS micronutrients are fully chelated and can be used in both foliar and soil applied applications. NACHURS EDTA fully chelated micronutrients are specifically formulated to prevent nutrient tie up. With NACHURS EDTA chelating process, a ring-like structure is placed around the micronutrient, protecting it from being tied up with the soil or other nutrients, thus ultimate nutrient availability to the plant is assured, and deficiencies can be corrected. The stability of NACHURS 100% EDTA chelated micronutrients makes them compatible with most pesticides and won’t settle out or react with other components in NACHURS liquid fertilizers. NACHURS fertilizers and micronutrients are banded for accurate placement, and the micronutrients with remain mobile in the soil.
What is a Chelate?
A chelate is a complex organic molecule that surrounds the nutrient ion. Chelates are used as carriers for micronutrients, to keep them in solution & protect them from reactions that cause the micronutrient to become insoluble & unavailable to the plant.
The EDTA Difference
Unlike other micronutrient sources such as complexes, partial chelates, and natural organic complexes, NACHURS EDTA chelated micronutrients are 100% available to the crop. Other micro sources contain too little complexing agent and undergo major chemical changes, delivering significantly less micronutrient in a form available for plant uptake. While these sources of micros may offer cost savings at first, they can actually create deficiencies for lack of availability.
Our Magnesium product is intended for the prevention and timely correcting of magnesium deficiency symptoms. It is primarily useful in crops where the carbohydrate part of the plant is being harvested. Magnesium should have a testable relationship with Calcium in the soil of between 1 to 5 and 1 to 10. When this range does not exist, foliar applications of Magnesium may prevent yield limiting deficiencies. Magnesium is the central element in chlorophyll development and activates many enzymes and enzymatic processes.
Study: 4/5 of Wisconsin Soil Samples Were Low in Sulfur
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/10/2011
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Extension say soil samples taken during the past year in many of the state's farm fields were low in sulfur. During various testings in 2010, about 64 percent of alfalfa plant tissue samples taken were low in sulfur. That's compared to 38 percent just 10 years earlier. Overall, 82 percent of all soils tested were considered low in sulfur in the Badger State.
"Sulfur is becoming an issue because of the Clean Air Act that required lower emissions from powerplants and other sources," says Dr. Richard Wolkowski, a senior soil scientist and Extension soil scientist at the UW-Madison. "There has been a substantial decrease in sulfur deposition in rainfall."
He says one cost-effective and high quality alternative for supplying sulfur, as well as calcium, is FGD or by-product gypsum produced at certain coal-fired utility plants that use scrubbing technology to clean emissions.
"Gypsum is an excellent source of calcium and sulfur for crops," Wolkowski says.
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 gave rise to new scrubbing systems used by coal-fired utilities to remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from their emissions. These scrubbers produce high-quality and very pure FGD gypsum or calcium sulfate dihydrate. According to utility industry surveys, annual production of FGD gypsum is currently approximately 18 million tons and could double in the next ten years. In addition to FGD gypsum, co-product gypsum is derived from fermenting corn for food products.
Dr. Warren Dick, a researcher and professor in Environmental and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, has shown that gypsum, used as a sulfur source, raises yields of corn and alfalfa. A 2003 OSU study showed corn responded to gypsum that supplied sulfur at a rate of 30 lbs/acre. Yield was increased from 182 bu./acre to 193.
"Sulfur is important because it's a part of protein," Dr. Dick told the audience of 190 crop consultants, growers and others at the Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium: Research and Practical Insights into Using Gypsum, held August 23, 2011, at the University of Wisconsin Arlington Ag Research Station. "There are two amino acids that require sulfur for protein synthesis and that's why crops like alfalfa, and maybe soybeans, potentially respond better to gypsum and the sulfur fertilizer inputs because they are very high protein-producing type crops.
Nationally, summaries released by the International Plant Nutrition Institute in 2010 show that 13 percent of the 2.5 million samples tested around the country last year were low in calcium phosphate.
Manganese plays a direct role in photosynthesis by aiding chlorophyll development. Manganese accelerates germination and maturity by increasing the availability of phosphorus and calcium. microLink Manganese has been very effective in correcting the yield robbing deficiencies often found in soybeans. No antagonism or minimized effectiveness has been noted when combined with Glyphosate products.
Copper is contained in several important enzymes and is involved in photosynthesis and chlorophyll formation. Copper is often neglected as a nutrition input. Our Copper helps prevent or correct deficiencies of copper. These deficiencies usually manifest a light green shade before becoming chlorotic, curling, and dying back.
Iron aids in the formation of chlorophyll, acts as an oxygen carrier and helps contribute to the development of certain respiratory enzyme systems. Our Iron can be applied where know deficiencies exist or to correct early deficiency symptoms.
BORON Granubor (pound)
Boron, an essential plant nutrient
Boron is one of seven micronutrients essential to all plant growth. Its role was recognized first in the 1920s and since that time, boron eficiency has been recognized in a wide range of crops.
Correcting boron deficiency
Boron deficiency can be remedied by the correct application of a borate containing material in solid or liquid fertilizers, to the seedbed in annual crops or under the foliar canopy of perennial crops.
One very common and practical field method is to blend a suitable boron granule containing the base fertilizer or top dressing. The blend is then applied to the crop in the normal way. Granubor is particularly suitable for this purpose.
Detecting boron deficiency
Boron deficiency shows in clearly defined ways in certain crops. Generally, by the time visible symptoms are seen, yields will already have been adversely affected. The best way to establish need is either through soil testing or through tissue analysis. In this way, boron supplementation can form part of a ‘balanced nutrition’ approach to crop fertilization.
Predicting boron deficiency
Certain crops world-wide are known to be more susceptible to lack of boron than others. These are shown in the tables. There are several factors which need to be taken into account when boron deficiency may be suspected:
• High rainfall
• Recent liming (pH over 6.6)
• Previous cropping
• Boron removal by previous crops
• No boron nutrition
• Sandy soils
• High organic matter
Micronutrient use continues to be an educational process, as growers learn the role of these inputs, says Mosaic’s Froehlich. “In corn, zinc is a primary driver of yield — you have to supply enough somehow. Growers are putting a lot of money into other inputs, they don’t want to be short on micros,” he says. Indeed, he says it’s been proven that the new high performing triple stack hybrids demand at least 10% more micronutrients than their genetic predecessors.
Given today’s high-yielding corn genetics, favorable crop prices and volatile input costs, getting the most out of every acre is more important than ever. But how do you do this efficiently and affordably? And what can we learn from the production practices of past corn yield challenge winners?
Instead of starting with the traditional areas of NPK and crop protection products, Goodwin assumed that most growers have this area well under control. Instead, he focused on the small and relatively inexpensive “tweaks” that high-performance growers can focus on to get the yield jumps. These tweaks include an often overlooked but essential nutrient: zinc.
Most growers are familiar with the concept of the “Law of the Minimum,” which states that the most limiting nutrient limits yield, regardless of how much of other nutrients you apply.
“Building yield potential is similar to building a barrel,” said Goodwin. “Each stave in the barrel represents an individual nutrient. No matter how tall the other staves are, the shortest stave determines how full the barrel can be. Zinc can sometimes be the lowest stave — or the limiting nutrient for maximum yield potential. No matter how much NPK you apply, if zinc is short, yield will only reach the amount zinc allows.”
He also noted that the barrel is changing in today’s corn production. “With recent advances in yield potential due to genetic and technological traits, the barrel has become bigger and taller,” he noted. That means bigger yields — but also an increase in overall costs (and risk) to make sure the correct nutrient balance is in place.
Zinc (Zn) is an essential nutrient required in some fertilizer programs for crop production in Minnesota. While some soils are capable of supplying adequate amounts for crop production, addition of zinc fertilizers is needed for others. In Minnesota, Zn may be needed in fertilizer programs for production of corn, sweet corn, and edible beans. Several research projects have focused on the use of this nutrient, and much of the following information is based on the results of that research.
The Role of Zinc in the Plant
The specific role of Zn in growth and development of plants is not known. This nutrient is an important component of various enzymes that are responsible for driving many metabolic reactions in all crops. Growth and development would stop if specific enzymes were not present in plant tissue.
Zinc, however, is needed in very small amounts. Plant uptake of this nutrient is calculated in terms of ounces per acre instead of pounds per acre. Therefore, Zn is classified as a micronutrient.
Plants fail to develop normally when they are deficient in Zn and certain characteristic deficiency symptoms will appear. With corn, these symptoms usually appear in the first two or three weeks of the growing season. If the deficiency of Zn is severe, these symptoms may last throughout the entire season.
A deficiency of Zn in corn is characterized by the development of broad bands of striped tissue on each side of the midrib of the leaf. These stripes begin on the part of the leaf closest to the stalk and appear first on the upper part of the plant (see Figure 1). A Zn deficient corn plant also appears to be stunted. The lack of normal elongation in a corn plant is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 1. This young corn plant shows typical zinc deficiency symptoms. Note the broad white stripes on both sides of the midrib of the leaf.
Figure 2. Zinc deficiency creates shortened internodes on the corn stalk. A normal plant (bottom) is shown in contrast to the zinc-deficient plant.
Zinc deficiency in edible beans first appears as a yellowing of the lower leaves. As the season progresses, this yellowing develops into a bronze or brown color. The leaves have a rusty appearance. For this crop, however, care must be taken to avoid confusing sunburned leaves with Zn deficiency.
For both corn and edible beans, suspected deficiency symptoms should be confirmed with plant analysis.
Soil Conditions and the Need for Zinc Fertilizers
Research at the University of Minnesota as well as other universities has identified soil conditions where a response to Zn fertilizers might be expected. These conditions are:
Soil Temperature. Cool soil temperatures in early spring can intensify the need for Zn. When soils are cold, the organic matter does not decompose and Zn is not released and available for crop growth.
Soil Texture. In Minnesota, most of the response to Zn in a fertilizer program will take place on fine-textured soils. Recent research on sandy soils indicates a response to Zn can occur when high yields are grown on sandy soils with a low organic matter content. The measured response to Zn fertilization in these situations has been small and has not occurred every year. Use the zinc soil test to determine if Zn is needed in a fertilizer program.
Topsoil Removal. The probability of a response to Zn fertilization increases where topsoil has been removed or eroded away. When soils are eroded, the amount of free calcium carbonate on the soil surface increases. The probability of the need for Zn in a fertilizer program increases as the percentage of free calcium carbonate increases.
Previous Crop. The probability of a response to Zn fertilization increases if either corn or dry edible beans follows a crop of sugar beets.
Phosphorus Levels. There is a known relationship between phosphorus (P) and Zn in soils. Excessive applications of phosphate fertilizers have caused a Zn deficiency in corn and reduced yields. This yield reduction is shown in Table 1. In this study, the soil was highly calcareous (pH = 8.3), and the soil test of both P and Zn was very low. A P-induced Zn deficiency is a concern and may occur only if very high rates of phosphate fertilizer (more than 100 lb. P2O5/acre) are used and the soil test for Zn is in the low and very low range.
The P-induced Zn deficiency might be a concern when high rates of manure are applied to crop land. The manure, however, also contains Zn that can be used for crop growth. Therefore, P supplied from manure should not create a Zn deficiency for crop production in Minnesota.
Table 1. The effect of high rates of phosphate with and without the use of Zn corn yield.
Predicting the Need for Zinc
The need for Zn in a fertilizer program can be determined through soil tests or plant analysis. Plant analysis can confirm a suspected Zn deficiency. Plant analysis, however, should be used in combination with soil testing before arriving at firm recommendations for using Zn in a fertilizer program.
A guide to the relative levels of Zn in the tissue of several important agronomic crops is provided in Table 2. The Zn concentration changes with stage of growth for the various crops. It's important that crops be sampled at the growth stage listed if interpretation of plant analysis information is to be accurate.
Table 2. Relative levels of Zn concentration in plant tissue for several crops.*
ear leaf at silking
most recently mature
trifoliate at early bloom
top 6 inches at
*From: Soil Testing and Plant Analysis; L.M. Walsh and J.D. Beaton (ed.)
When a soil test indicates the need for Zn, small amounts are needed in a fertilizer program to provide for optimum yield (Table 3). The Zn status of Minnesota soils is easily measured by routine soil testing. The DTPA procedure is used by major soil testing laboratories and is a reliable indicator of the need for Zn in the fertilizer program. The interpretations of this test, along with corresponding fertilizer recommendations, are summarized in Table 4.
Table 3. The effect of rate of Zn applied in a starter fertilizer on corn yield.
Source: University of Nebraska; Zn soil test = low
Table 4. Zinc recommendations for field corn, sweet corn, and edible beans grown in Minnesota.
Soil Test for Zinc*
Zinc to Apply
Starter or Broadcast
0.0 - 0.25
0.26 - 0.50
0.51 - 0.75
0.76 - 1.00
*Zn extracted by the DTPA procedure
The addition of Zn to a starter fertilizer is the most economical approach to Zn fertilization. This method provides the nutrient the year it is needed. This is especially important when corn and edible beans are rotated with other crops. If use of a starter fertilizer is not an option, the Zn fertilizer should be broadcast and incorporated before planting either corn or edible beans.
Sources of Zinc
Several sources can supply Zn when needed. Zinc sulfate is usually used to supply the needed amount of Zn when dry fertilizer materials are used. This material can be either broadcast and incorporated before planting, or used in a starter fertilizer. It blends well with other dry fertilizer materials. Approximately 3 lb. of the zinc sulfate material will supply 1 lb. Zn per acre.
A zinc-ammonia complex (10% Zn) can be used to supply Zn when fluid fertilizers are used. This material mixes easily with other fluid fertilizers.
Zinc oxide can correct a Zn deficiency but is slowly soluble and not effective in a granular form. To effectively correct a Zn deficiency, zinc oxide must be finely ground. Spreading any finely ground material is a problem in Minnesota because of the wind. So use of finely ground zinc oxide is limited to situations where suspension fertilizers are used.
Foliar applications of Zn have not been consistently effective in correcting deficiencies of this nutrient. This method of application should be used on a trial basis only. For foliar applications, powdered zinc sulfate can be dissolved in water and applied to the leaf tissue. The amount dissolved should supply 0.5 to 1.0 lb. Zn per acre when a rate of 20 gallons of water per acre is used.
A zinc chelate can also be mixed with water. The amount of chelate mixed with water should supply 0.15 lb. Zn per acre when water is sprayed at a rate of 20 gallons per acre.
Research has shown that all sources of Zn (except granular zinc oxide) have an equal effect on crop production (Table 5). The yields presented in Table 5 are averages for four rates of applied Zn (0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 3.0 lb. Zn/A). Consider cost before choosing a source of Zn for the fertilizer program.
Table 5. The effect of Zn source
on yield of corn.
Source: University of Nebraska; Zn soil test = low
Zinc is needed in small amounts for crop production in Minnesota and is, therefore, classified as a micronutrient. Field corn, sweet corn, and edible beans are Minnesota crops that respond to the use of this nutrient. A soil test is the best management practice for predicting the need for adding Zn to a fertilizer program. This nutrient is most effective if applied in a starter fertilizer. Several sources of zinc can be used with both liquid and dry fertilizers to optimize production of corn and edible beans when this nutrient is needed.
All Crops Need Molybdenum to use Nitrate Nitrogen (NO3)
Nitrogen or Molybdenum Deficiency?
Molybdenum deficiencies are the most misdiagnosed nutrient deficiency in crops.
What is Molybdenum?
Molybdenum is an essential plant nutrient required by all plants to complete their life cycles. It is needed in tiny quantities compared to traditional fertilizers. Thus it is often ignored, especially when molybdenum deficiency looks like nitrogen deficiency.
Good Crop Yields Require More than just N-P-K!
Most labs do not routinely analyze for molybdenum in soil and tissue samples, but molybdenum has been found to be deficient? in 70% to 90% of agronomic crop soil and tissue samples.
Nitrogen Fixation Requires Molybdenum!
All crops that fix nitrogen need molybdenum including soybeans and alfalfa. The enzyme that fixes nitrogen contains molybdenum, and without molybdenum, there is no N-fixation!
1. Low molybdenum in nodules can cause low nitrogen in tissue, poor growth and yields.
2. Beans and alfalfa need molybdenum early in the season when nodules first form for crop to fix nitrogen.
3. Good levels of molybdenum inside nodules have pink to a bright color indicating good nitrogen fixation.
4. Tissue test is best to determine molybdenum levels and deficiency.