ProfitProAG Farm Report
March 2017

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Crop Management News

The Importance of Micronutrients

by Dennis Klockenga, ProfitProAG Consultant

Although micronutrients are only needed in small amounts, that doesn’t deviate from their importance. They are critical for all life forms including plants, animals, microbes and humans.

Micronutrients or trace elements are cofactors, meaning they are needed for enzyme functions. Enzymes are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions. Without enzymes, chemical reactions would be a slow process. Enzymes are also highly specific and only work on the molecule for which they were designed. Without trace elements, these enzymes couldn’t occur and would consequently affect chemical reactions. To compare, trace elements are the key that starts the tractor. They aren’t the structure of the engine, but without them the engine can’t start.

Trace elements are also an important component of test weight. The atomic weight of the structural nutrients such as N, P and K are 14, 31 and 39 respectively. However, the atomic weights of micronutrients are much higher. Zinc has an atomic weight of 65.4, manganese 55, copper 63.6, molybdenum 85.9, etc. If trace elements are present in the grain, it will have a higher test weight due to the heavier weights of the micronutrients.

One of the most important enzymes needed for nitrogen fixation is molybdenum or “moly”. Moly is especially needed in legumes for the nodules to fix atmospheric nitrogen. If moly is lacking, the nodules will be limited and will be unable to fix adequate nitrogen, which affects plant growth. Moly is a component of the enzymes nitrogen reductase and nitrogenase that are needed for nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen reductase catalyzes the reduction of nitrate to nitrite and nitrogenase catalyzes the nitrogen fixation of atmospheric nitrogen.

Zinc is also a critical element in enzyme function. Zinc is needed to form indoleacetic acid oxidase (IAA), an enzyme needed to support the plant growth regulator, auxin. Lack of auxin can cause stunting and abnormal plant growth. Zinc is also critical in the plant’s ability to absorb water, which is critical in a drought.

Manganese is important in the development of the plant from the early stages of germination all the way to seed fill. Manganese is also critical in the absorption of carbon dioxide by the plant during photosynthesis. It is also needed for the formation of chlorophyll. Manganese is needed in the formation of many enzymes that are needed to breakdown sugars in the plant.

Trace elements are essential for plant growth and for the formation of enzymes. They act as catalysts to aid in chemical reactions in the plant. However, it’s just as important for the nutrients to be small enough to get into the plant. It’s critical for nutrients to be between 600-700 daltons or smaller to enter the plant through the root or the leaf. ProfitProAG’s micronutrient packages, which include MicroNutrient MixTM, Foliar MicroBoostTM and HerbolyteTM Plus, are small enough in size and individually chelated so that each micronutrient can be absorbed by the plant efficiently. The formulations are also complexed with organic and amino acids meaning they will break down in the soil. Most other micronutrient solutions on the market use much larger chelators that may be more persistent and slower to breakdown and can cause adverse conditions in the soil.

Micronutrients or trace elements are needed in minute amounts, but are critical for plant and soil function. Trace elements are important cofactors which form enzymes that provide a catalyst for chemical reactions in all of life. Without micronutrients, chemical reactions would be slow and not as efficient. Molybdenum, zinc and manganese are just a few micronutrients that are important components in forming enzymes. It’s important to consider the size of the molecule when considering micronutrient solutions. ProfitProAG’s trace element packages have individual chelators and the molecules are small enough for efficient plant uptake and a high return on investment.

Sources: http://blog.nutri-tech.com.au/trace-element-essentials;  http://www.imoa.info/HSE/environmental_data/biology/plants_soils.php

 

Livestock & Manure Management News

 

Strategies for Improved Livestock Production

by Chris Chodur, ProfitProAG Consultant

Over the past few decades, animal husbandry has become increasingly separated from its natural existence of open land grazing and foraging. Today, most livestock in the United States are raised in confinement on huge industrialized systems. Confining as many animals indoors as possible may maximize production and profits, but it also creates welfare issues. Over-exposure to toxins and gases from manure can create health problems and serious compromises to animal comfort, care and well-being. Poor feed quality also adds to the health risks.
To counteract these unhealthy conditions, producers may feed or inject low doses of antibiotics, which contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To offset and reduce the need for antibiotics, as well as improve the overall immunity of livestock, improved feed quality, with higher nutrient values, can help reduce the need for antibiotics as well as advance overall immunity. Simply adding an expanded exercise area and improved, environmentally-friendly bedding materials like ProfitProAG’s Barn Care Bedding can also make a difference.

Although antibiotic-free beef, chicken and pork only account for approximately five percent of the meat sold in the U.S., current consumer demand is now driving meat companies to implement antibiotic-free practices as well as to adopt very different animal care protocols. As awareness grows about animal welfare, large food service enterprises and retail chains are demanding changes in farming practices and livestock care. Some large meat and egg producers, like Perdue and Tyson, have pledged to support and provide higher quality products to their consumers.

Production Practice Changes

Changes in production practices like “cage-free, free range, pasture ranged and stall-free gestation” have yielded premium prices in the value–added markets. However, improving animal welfare in today’s industrial agricultural system will, undoubtedly, require a widespread change in the attitude of livestock producers. Better basic training, greater attention to the animal’s needs and an overall healthier approach may result in lower medical expenses, reduced mortalities and improved profitability.

The ABC’s of Better Health

Advanced Barn Care (ABC) is focused on livestock welfare by improving the environment, the immune system and overall health and comfort.

ABC manure pit treatment products reduce harmful toxins and gases by locking up ammonia that can cause production and respiratory issues in all classes of livestock and workers. Nutrients from treated ABC manure pits are also more biologically available to crops when used as a fertilizer.

ABC barn drying agents regulate moisture and gases, reduce foot slippage and biologically provide a defense against pathogens, such as viruses and bacterial strains. It also provides a cleaner and more hygienic environment, which helps improve the animal’s immune system.

ABC feed flow additive builds natural immunity. The all natural ingredients supply essential probiotics and neutralizes gut pH. This balances trace minerals and immobilizes harmful pathogens in the intestinal tract.

ABC flax bedding products are healthier for all livestock operations. In comparison to other bedding sources, they are more environmentally friendly, provide better insulation, increase moisture uptake and reduce ammonia. Studies show a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 45:1, which takes a fraction of time to decompose versus years from other bedding sources.

All ABC products are safe and support livestock welfare and productivity by improving the environment, the immune system and overall health and comfort.

 

 

Featured Product of the month

 

 

MicroNutrient Mix is an advanced generation of plant micronutrients complexed to enhance nutrient availability and uptake by the plants. It is formulated for crops that require an immediate source of micronutrients at early or late stage of growth and contains natural buffers to maintain nutrient availability and prevent nutrient interaction with glyphosate. MicroNutrient Mix is designed for at-plant soil and foliar application.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:

Total Nitrogen......................................................... 0.60%

0.60% Urea Nitrogen

Available Phosphate (P2O5).................................. 0.37%

Soluble Potash (K2O) ............................................. 3.54%

Sulfur (S).................................................................. 2.54%

2.54% Combined Sulfur (S)

Boron (B)................................................................. 0.17%

Cobalt (Co) ........................................................... 0.007%

Copper (Cu)............................................................. 0.35%

0.35% Chelated Copper (Cu)

Iron (Fe).................................................................... 0.73%

0.73% Soluble Iron (Fe)

Manganese (Mn).................................................... 1.15%

1.15% Soluble Manganese (Mn)

Molybdenum (Mo) ................................................ 0.11%

Zinc (Zn) .................................................................. 1.10%

1.10% Soluble Zinc (Zn)

Derived from urea, potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, potassium glucoheptonate, ammonium molybdate, boric acid, cobalt sulfate, copper glucoheptonate, iron sulfate, iron glucoheptonate, manganese sulfate, molybdic acid, zinc gluconate and zinc sulfate.

directions for use:

MicroNutrient Mix micronutrients are recommended for use on all plants. It is intended to supplement and enhance a full fertilization program as recommended in accordance with a reliable Soil and Tissue Analysis. MicroNutrient Mix provides a source of immediately available nutrients but will not, by itself, provide all necessary nutrients required during the growing season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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