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  • Nov27Mon

    Nutrient Uptake and Transport Throughout the Plant

    Field Notes November 27, 2017 Jay Castleman, Specialty Crop Market Manager
    Filed Under:
    Starters, Agronomy, Opinion, Field Notes, Microbials, Technology Products, 4Rs
    Nutrient Uptake and Transport Throughout the Plant

    In our unrelenting journey toward maximizing production there are so many needs to be taken into consideration. Seed genetics and placement, field tillage, precision planting, the right use and timing of crop protection products and plant nutrition to name a few. In this search for the right combination we must focus a good deal of effort on the details and the root of the challenge, literally!

    No matter how well we do in making all the other decisions, meeting our yield objectives hinges on plant nutrition or more importantly efficient nutrient uptake and utility.

    Almost never will you find that the levels of nutrients found in the soil mirror what can be found in plant tissue. There is a great indifference in exchange from the soil to the plant and nutrient uptake is generally compromised. There are a number of reasons for this; nutrient solubility and mobility, soil moisture, soil structure, pH and antagonistic influence on nutrients, and on the other end of the spectrum, root health, root surface area and the biological health of the soil. We’ve talked about some of these influences in past articles but there are a few that I would like to dig a little deeper in.

    Let’s take a look at solubility and nutrient mobility first. Solubility, in its simplest definition, is the ability to make a dry nutrient become part of a liquid form so it can be transported to and or taken into the plant. Now all nutrients have varied degrees of solubility and the amount of water it takes to solubilize one will differ from that of another nutrient. This is why NACHURS has built many of our new generation products with the Potassium acetate form of potassium or our Bio-K technology.

    Comparing different forms of potassium such as Potassium Carbonate, it takes 2.3 times more water to solubilize than Potassium Acetate, Potassium Chloride (Muriate of Potash) takes 7.5 times more water and Potassium Sulfate takes 23 times more water to make soluble than Potassium Acetate.  When solubility is that important to uptake using Potassium Acetate is a huge advantage. This advantage is especially important when dryer regions come into play or it’s mid-season in more temperate areas.  You’re trying to finish filling out soybean pods and the soil moisture is less than ideal and the crop needs all the help it can get.

    Once there is soluble nutrient it becomes a function of uptake and the total root surface area comes into play. The surface area of a root system can be greatly impacted by the amount of fine hair roots that develop and nutrient uptake can be greatly improved by the same root hairs. In fact research has shown that fine hair roots can typically improve nutrient uptake by * 5.5 times as in corn to 18 times more nutrient in other crops and that too can be a strong advantage (* Root Development of Field Crops, John E Weaver, Professor of Plant Ecology, University of Nebraska).

    Root health and vigor is also of great importance!  Since many nutrients are somewhat stationary in the soil the root must grow to the resident nutrient before it can be taken up into the plant. Phosphorus is one such nutrient. Imagine a phosphorus molecule lying next to a root; once that phosphorus molecule is taken up the root must migrate to a new nutrient supply. Under most conditions Phosphorus only moves about one tenth of an inch through the soil and Potassium only about one quarter of an inch. There are conditions that allow for greater migration but for most of us that’s it! So you can see how important it is to have a vigorous root system constantly prospecting for a new supply of nutrient. This is another reason why it is so important to use a good starter and why in-furrow placement can be so beneficial. Another benefit to a fresh and vigorous root system is that young roots are better suited for nutrient uptake than older or suberized roots.

    One tool that can greatly improve root health, surface area and vigor is our Rhyzo-Link line of products. This line of products combine our high quality liquid fertilizers with the addition of the Potassium Acetate and PGPR, a biological consortium built to synergize the relationship between the crop, the soil and the biological environment. The value of these three strengths linked together to form a package are designed to effectively feed a crop and to support vigorous root growth and nutrient acquisition while building a healthier rhizosphere, bringing a combined set of advantages into production. 

    How well known is the fact that the opportunity of a good harvest is foundationed by a good healthy start. Combine good practice with the strengths of Bio-K and Rhyzo-Link in your program this year for an added advantage. 

    NACHURS has always been a leader in both innovation and quality but more to the point NACHURS is focused on building solutions to challenges; a product for a purpose.

    Maximizing production is all about managing the details and pulling the pieces together. Quality Products, Agronomic Support and Innovation make NACHURS a partner you can count on!