Articles tagged with: balance

14May

Starting at the Beginning

a seedling's needs

Starting at the Beginning

Think of your young seedling as a vulnerable baby that can not fend for itself. The seedling needs to be provided with many things, the most important of which includes adequate moisture, proper temperature and a steady diet of balanced nutrition. Once germinated, a seed draws nutrients immediately from its storage tank - the energetic material of the seed, itself. But, the seed's storage tank is small and only has enough energy to sustain the development of a few small root hairs and an upward shoot and then, it is quickly depleted. After that, a seedling needs to get nutrients from external inputs.


As a farmer, you can't control temperature or moisture. But you can control nutrition. You have two choices. You can supply nutrition in the form of available fertilizer, supplied directly to the plant or you can foster a healthy soil environment that can supply the tender plant with what it needs.


Most soils are chock full of nutrients. But most of these nutrients are in a raw or reserved form in the soil. Rock Phosphate and Calcium are hard granular materials. So, how does a plant eat a bunch of rocks? It doesn't. A healthy soil environment contains an army of microbes that convert the "rocks" to an available form. This process is called solubilizing. With traditional high-salt fertilizers, chemical processes have been employed to do the job of the microbes in order to extract nutrients from the "rocks" and make them available to plants. But the chemical forms of these nutrients kill the soil's microbes. So, this leaves your plants dependent on you to supply all their nutrients and leaves you with a dead soil.
Use of chemical fertilizers leaves you with a soil system that is dependent on purchased inputs. In addition, it is more difficult to achieve balance with purchased inputs. Imbalances mean a combination of deficiency and excess which translate to unhealthy plants that are more susceptible to disease and insect pressure.


Dead soil has no water holding capacity, is easily compacted so roots can't navigate through it, and fosters no beneficial microbes and other organisms like worms that serve as your fertilizer production army.


Dead soil is bad for good farming. Make your soil come alive again by reducing chemical fertilizers and other chemical applications. Stimulate the microbes in your soil by feeding them with organic material. Make sure your soil contains the micronutrients that enable microbes to complete critical enzymatic processes and allow them to digest and release nutrients available to your plants.


Stimulate dead or unhealthy soils with an inoculant of our TrueBlend Soil Rejuvenator to activate the army of little workers under your feet. Then, feed your plants with natural, high quality, highly available nutrients to give them the jump they need while your microbes are building their strength. Consider spraying Agri-Gro FoliarBlend bio-stimulant or our comprehensive, all-natural TrueBlend Planting and Foliar solutions in the row at planting or on your new crops as a foliar for a strong start.

Posted in Dave de Vries

05February

A Nutrient On Its Own Has Little Value

Balance is Key

A Nutrient On Its Own Has Little Value

Understanding that an excess or deficiency of one nutrient can cause the deficiency of another, it is critical to watch balance between minerals rather than to focus on the specific level of a particular nutrient. There is typically a large focus on Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium but, we believe that the four major nutrients to watch are those that govern and enable photosynthesis.

A plant's productivity is dependent on its photosynthetic potential. A plant whose photosynthesis is hindered by nutrient deficiency is limited in its ability to function at a basic level. The four major nutrients that enable photosynthesis are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and boron. Focus should be on enhancing availability of these elements. If there is ample reserve of the nutrients, but availability (water soluble) of any one of these nutrients is low, then we must focus on the factors that unlock nutrients trapped in the soil. This includes looking at nutrient synergists and antagonists that may be contributing to the limitation of the nutrient(s).

To achieve better balance, we recommend that you promote the constant and consistent supply of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and boron. Knowing that each of these elements has synergists, it is especially important to be mindful of the relationship between Phosphorus and Magnesium, and between Calcium and Boron.

Here are a few things to consider:
Calcium is necessary for the transport of all other nutrients in the plant.
Calcium should be balanced with potassium, magnesium and sodium.
Too much potassium inhibits the uptake of both Calcium and Magnesium.
A plant needs Boron in order to take in Calcium.
Zinc is necessary for Phosphorus uptake . Phosphorus to Zinc ratio needs to be below 10:1 in order to avoid Phosphorus or Zinc tie-up.
Zinc is key in enzymatic processes, especially leaf sizing for optimal photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is responsible for 95% of plant productivity.
The water holding capacity of humates is 6:1 so keeping all the humus you can is crucial to optimal water management and conservation.

The Value of Individual Nutrients is Zero

Understanding that an excess or deficiency of one nutrient can cause the deficiency of another, it is critical to watch balance between minerals rather than to focus on the specific level of a particular nutrient.  There is typically a large focus on Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium but, we believe that the four major nutrients to watch are those that govern and enable photosynthesis. 

 

A plant’s productivity is dependent on its photosynthetic potential.  A plant whose photosynthesis is hindered by nutrient deficiency is limited in its ability to function at a basic level.  The four major nutrients that enable photosynthesis are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and boron. Focus should be on enhancing availability of these elements.  If there is ample reserve of the nutrients, but availability (water soluble) of any one of these nutrients is low, then we must focus on the factors that unlock nutrients trapped in the soil. This includes looking at the nutrient synergists and antagonists that may be contributing to the limitation of the nutrient(s).

 

To achieve better balance, we recommend that you promote the constant and consistent supply of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and boron.  Knowing that each of these elements has synergists, it is especially important to be mindful of the relationship between Phosphorus and Magnesium, and between Calcium and Boron.

Posted in Dave de Vries