WHAT IS A MICRONUTRIENT?
First let’s breakdown the word:
“micro” = small; “nutrients” = nutrition
They can also be referred to as micro elements, minor nutrients, minor elements, trace nutrients and trace elements. When we are referring to micronutrients in an agronomy sense with agriculture, living plants, grasses, trees, within plant food topic, they mean minor nutritional food for plants, while macronutrients are your basic NPK’s (nitrogen, phosphate and potash) which are needed in higher doses as plant food. The more common micronutrient elements needed in smaller amounts are iron, manganese, zinc, boron, moly, copper, cobalt, and various other nutrients on the periodic table.
Plants need vitamins and elements, just as we do. If you remember this, we as humans do not crave food, our bodies crave nutrients. When we eat, it is the nutrient level in our stomach that will satisfy us and trigger our mind to tell us we are full. We can eat junk food all day and not be full, and thus gain weight, but when we eat nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables and fruits, they will be more satisfying to our needs. This stands true for plants also. They crave nutrient-rich foods and respond better when they get micronutrients in their diet. Their responses can come in the forms of better yield, better color, better taste, longer shelf life, higher brix level, healthier, cleaner-looking appearance, better and more efficient utilization of other nutrients, and better growth responses.
SO ARE ALL MICRONUTRIENTS EQUALLY BENEFICIAL?
Now that we know how important the need for micronutrients is to health, let’s look at what are the differences between micronutrients on the market for your plants. First you need to understand that your choice in micronutrients is very important. Look at the source. The most readily available sources of micronutrients on earth are from mined sources: carbonates and oxides. They are cheap to mine and there is plenty available, straight out of the ground. Oxide or carbonate micronutrients, or in other words zinc (oxide) carbonate, iron (oxide) carbonate, manganese (oxide) carbonate, etc. From A to Z there is a carbonate source. Guess what? In terms of our body (or plant) we can’t readily absorb carbonates in their present form. They must be reacted with an acid, enzyme, sugar, and/or chelate, to make them more usable. So in many cases we may take our vitamins, or the plant its micro nutrients, and only absorb a fraction of them. What we can’t absorb will be rejected as waste.
This principle is similar to plant micronutrients that are not chelated, or absorbed with sugars, or absorbed with enzymes. The plant can’t readily use them and much of them is wasted. Your granular fertilizer may say it has micronutrients on the label, but if the plant can’t uptake them, then much of what we put in the soil (via granular) will stay in the soil. Why pay extra to leave them in your soil where they may never be used?
Chelating a micronutrient will ensure your plant has a much better chance to utilize that micro nutrient. In basic language, the chelating agent turns the micro nutrient into a readily available form, so the plant can use it, whether you apply it via foliage spray or apply it to the roots via ground injection. A chelated micro nutrient version will be more available to the plant.
Even if your soil test says you have lots of micronutrient in the soil, they may never be used because the plant can’t use them. Basically, the micronutrient level may be high or sufficient on your soil readings, but the micronutrients are not always available to the roots. Visual inspection or leaf analysis is the best way to determine if you have a micronutrient deficiency. The best way to fight a micronutrient deficiency is to guard against it by incorporating a micronutrient liquid into your spray program. It costs pennies per acre to incorporate it in your program, but you can waste dollars not having it there.
SO WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT OUR MICRONUTRIENTS?
Now that we understand why we need chelated micronutrients, let’s break that down into EDTA Chemical Chelates and Sugar Chelates or Organic Acid Chelates.
We chelate our micronutrients with a sugar-based food product. This chelate helps the plant absorb the material better and more effectively, and acts as a sugar source after delivering the micronutrient to the plant. Sugar chelates are extremely useful in that when they deliver the chelated nutrient to the plant, the nutrient is absorbed by the plant Then the left-over carbohydrate molecules energize the plant and give it a boost of energy. Also, there is no crash after, as there is with most sugar sources, due to the fact the plant just absorbed vitamins which will give it strength. Chemical chelates also makes the element available to the plant, but the EDTA does not break it down so easily, if it does at all. And it will build up in your cells, possibly causing problems with other elements.
A proper micronutrient spray will display results that can be noticed within days after application.
UAS of America has grown to become one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of micro- and macronutrient liquids in Florida. We can custom blend many different micronutrient variations of your choice and preference at a competitive cost. This website shows just a fraction of what we have available.
HOW DO OUR MICRONUTRIENTS WORK? WHY ARE THEY UNIQUE?
• They are formulated and fortified with micronutrients, alpha ketos, amino acids, organic/ natural sugars and enzymes.
• They are 100% water soluble and immediately available to the plant. Our products are extremely efficient as foliar sprays.
• We use organic-sugar chelated (not EDTA) compounds to make our micronutrients more effective.
• They provide all essential micronutrients like iron, boron, manganese, zinc moly, copper, cobalt and various other nutrients.
• They are designed for soil and foliage application, to prevent and correct pre-existing deficiencies as indicated by plant-leaf and soil testing.