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Research finds soil microbes behave similarly to fertilizer additions

Even though ecosystems may be located half a world away from each other, sometimes they really aren’t all that different. That’s what an international group of grassland scientists, including one from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, have found to be true about soil microbes living in grasslands and their response to fertilizers.

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Reducing nutrient loss

Water quality has always been a priority for agriculture but in recent years those concerns have escalated because of problems in the Western Lake Erie Basin and the Saginaw Bay. Many have pointed at farming as the primary cause. We in agriculture need to be aware that farming practices do have an impact on water quality, both positive and negative. Nutrient movement off fields is an area where farmers need to take the initiative. There are three key areas where this can be done.

Crop Fertility

A closer look at chelates

Chelating agents affect the bonds between ions and molecules. In nature—i.e., in your fields—high organic soils and phosphorous naturally bond to micronutrients. This forms a complex bond that prohibits plants from absorbing micronutrients. To help solve this problem, fertilizers use chelates.

Crop Fertility

The many philosophies of micronutrients

About as many philosophies about micronutrient management in crop production exist as there are micronutrients. Clear insight into key micronutrients, their plant functions and soil interactions, and product use to balance plant nutrition, can help you address customer questions. Seven micronutrients are required by plants, according to Mengel; zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo) and chlorine (Cl).

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