Complexing micronutrients: It’s back to the basics!
Amino acids — the basic building blocks of every organism — are important for plant growth, development and metabolism. Plants must synthesize amino acids in order to grow, develop and perform all routine metabolic functions.
While animals must obtain amino acids through their diets, plants can synthesize their own. However, in order to conduct this process in the most efficient manner, plants must have an adequate and continuous supply of beneficial nutrients. Water and sunlight availability are also key in order for plants to perform these functions.
Building from a strong technology base
As a leader in chelation technology for animals, Alltech is now applying the same technology principles to plants for the benefit of crop producers. Alltech Crop Science has focused on the principles of complexing to support and improve plant nutrient uptake.
How? The inherent complexing nature of amino acids is used to deliver a balanced source of essential nutrients in a uniquely bioavailable form.
Improving efficiency through precision application
“With foliar-applied micronutrients, complexed minerals are easily and quickly absorbed and their uptake is optimized,” said Nicolas Body, agronomist and European technical manager for Alltech Crop Science.
This can aid in production efficiency.
“There is basically zero waste,” added Body. “Rapid absorption by leaves, combined with targeted application, can provide plants with immediate access to essential nutrients.”
Plant-based solutions for a sustainable future
Alltech has the ability to “grow” these natural microorganisms at company facilities for amino acid extraction. In fact, 18 of 20 amino acids can be extracted from yeast, which is Alltech’s core competency. With one of the largest yeast facilities in the world, Alltech has a bountiful supply of raw materials utilized for the production and extraction of these naturally occurring amino acids.
“We are finding in nature the tools to help producers with nutrient management as well as crop protection and performance,” said Body. “Today, it is now possible to use natural organic acids to do the job of synthetic chemicals.”
This technology will help growers and consumers promote environmental sustainability without compromising quality and yield. Maintaining plant health through proper nutrition can reduce the need for synthetic inputs that can cause consumer concerns and pose environmental risks.
The following essential plant micronutrients have successfully been complexed with amino acid technology and can promote efficiency with each of the following functions:
Copper: Essential for chlorophyll formation and reactions involved in photosynthesis. Sandy, high-pH soils are most prone to copper deficiency.
Manganese: Aids in germination, maturity and availability of other nutrients. Waterlogged, high-pH organic soils are most prone to manganese deficiency. Herbicide stress is also a common contributing factor to manganese deficiency.
Zinc: Essential for growth, zinc plays a role in building growth hormones and in photosynthesis. Zinc deficiency is common with cool, wet weather and appears as stunted growth and shortening of internodes.