What if Advanced Fertilizers Could Increase Your Efficiencies?

Posted in: Ag in Motion 2018

These days, there is a great deal of talk around ways growers can farm more efficiently. After all, who doesn’t want to be more efficient!

The idea of “efficiency” can be interpreted in a number of different ways. For example, you can improve cost efficiency in an effort to get greater value and return on investment. You can choose products that allow your plants to uptake nutrients in a more efficient manner to maximize yield. And you can also view efficiency from the perspective of sustainability: achieving strong returns with minimal impact on farmland and the surrounding environment.

Maximizing efficiency is one of Taurus’ key focuses at the 2018 Ag In Motion exhibition. This year we are not only showcasing the Taurus Advanced Acre™, we have introduced the Taurus Driven Efficiencies plot to demonstrate new ways to increase efficiency through new technologies and practices.

Improving efficiency by… reducing nitrogen loss.

One of the greatest known inefficiencies on the farm is nitrogen loss. Whenever a nitrogen fertilizer (such as urea or UAN) is applied to the soil, it is extremely prone to chemical processes that will cause the N to convert to a gaseous state (ammonia) and evaporate into the atmosphere. This process is known as volatilization. Shockingly, up to 50% of applied nitrogen can be lost due to ammonia volatilization. That’s half of your N investment! Learn more.

Fortunately, business-savvy growers are using Nitrogen management products, such as NBPT, designed to inhibit volatilization loses.

At this year’s Ag In Motion show, Taurus has applied an advanced NBPT technology called ARM U™ to our Advanced Acre™ and Driven Efficiencies plots. ARM U is proven to reduce volatilization by 95-96%. Because it is formulated to minimize the urease enzyme activity during hydrolysis, it helps retain more N in the root zone – further contributing to efficiency.

While the effects won’t be seen until next year, Taurus is looking at applying a new technology – Arm U™ Advanced – as part of a fall Nitrogen application on our plots. This is a dual formulation nitrogen management system that protects against N loss due to volatilization AND denitrification (the conversion of N into nitrate by microbial activity).

Improving efficiency by… enhancing seed safety and reducing environmental impact.

If you burn your seed by incorrectly applying a fertilizer with a high salt index, your yield will obviously suffer. Unfortunately, this is a common problem with fertilizers containing Phosphorus and Sulfur. Fortunately, new seed-safe products are being developed to reduce salt index.

At Ag In Motion, Taurus will be showcasing a phosphate fertilizer that is turning heads beyond the ag sector. Crystal Green®, by Ostara, represents a game-changing approach to sustainable science. They have developed a way to remove phosphorus from effluent in urban municipalities to create a truly advanced agricultural fertilizer. Crystal Green’s seed-safe formulation allows placement closer to the seed without risk of damage. This is hugely advantageous, as we know phosphorus is not mobile in the soil – so the closer to the plant you can apply it the better.

Crystal Green is also formulated to prevent tie-up in the soil – ensuring up to 100% of applied P is usable by the plant. (In traditional products, science suggests only 15-20% of P is usable in a given year.) Plus, Crystal Green releases Phosphate season-long, based on plant demand. Another win for efficiency!

We’ll also be unveiling SUL4R-Plus™ – a Calcium Sulphate product new to Canada. It is designed to provide enhanced seed safety and a season-long source of S. In our research plot, we will also be looking at Sulfate Of Potash (SOP) technology by Compass Minerals – a combined sulphur/potash product that has a lower salt index than potash. It can be safely used in fields where chloride is not a concern.

Improving efficiency by… knowing your soil.

Choosing the right products for your crops and using them to efficiently achieve maximum results begins by understanding your soil. It goes far beyond simply identifying mineral deficiencies. Factors such as pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and nutrient PPM levels provide a wealth of insight that can help you determine which products are the right fit for your fields.

For example, certain minerals can be tied up with other minerals depending on soil pH. In soils with a high or low pH, you may require a fertilizer that mitigates these concerns. Crystal Green, for example, uses a citrate soluble solution. It comes pre-bound to Magnesium, which is plant accessible. This prevents unwanted bonding with other minerals that will tie up the P (such as Calcium in high pH soils or Aluminum and Iron in low pH soils).

We also know volatilization is increased in soils with higher pH and in clay soils with less cation exchange capacity (CEC), or if the N is applied on or near the surface. Making it that much more important to use an NBPT product.

We hope you’ve found this blog an “efficient” use of your time! Join us at Ag In Motion, or contact your Taurus rep to learn ways to improve efficiency on your farm.

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