Liquid Fish 5-1-1 -- Request a quote from Fertilizer Brokerage today!

Starter Fertilizer 8-25-0

Starter Fertilizer 8-25-0Starter Fertilizers

It was April 29th and 38° as I drove into work. By this time 20% of the corn has been planted in our county. It was cold and rainy. While the rain is welcome the cold is another story.

Cold soil temperatures have a direct impact on the availability of phosphorus in soil. The cooler the soil, the more phosphorus is tied up. This tie-up of phosphorus directly impacts the health of emerging seedlings. Tied up phosphorus in soil means the plant will likewise be deficient in phosphorus.

Phosphorus is the P in ATP. ATP is a critical component in the energy cycle of plants. When phosphorus is low in plant tissue plants grow slower, have reduced root mass, and are more susceptible to insect and disease pressure.

When seeds germinate and find a plentiful supply of available phosphorus, the emerging seedling will have a higher level of phosphorus in its tissue. By the time a corn plant reaches V2, its pattern of phosphorus sufficiency or insufficiency is mostly cemented in place. The goal is to set the health of the seedling with dry matter phosphorus readings of 0.35% or higher in the plant tissue.

Here are some guidelines for testing phosphorus: harvest the entire plant at V2 and submit for a plant tissue analysis.

% Phosphorus on Dry Matter Basis
0.15%      Critically Deficient
0.25%      Low
0.35%      Sufficient
0.45%      Excellent Level

Roots are the foundation of plant health. When soils are wet and cold, seedlings do not have aggressive root growth. At the same time soil phosphorus is virtually all tied up. With less root mass there is less uptake of phosphorus. To have healthy roots a seedling must have an adequate supply of phosphorus. This leads to the circular situation where seedlings need phosphorus to grow roots so they can get the phosphorus they need.

The solution to this predicament is to use a starter. The colder and wetter the soil, the more critical a starter becomes. Of course not all starters are equal so let’s explore some options.

Chemically, phosphorus is available in 2 forms: ortho and poly. Plants utilize phosphorus only in the ortho form, H2PO4. When 2 or more orthophosphate ions join together it becomes poly phosphate. Polyphosphate cannot be used by plants. First the phosphate ions must be detached by microbial digestion to become orthophosphate.

The problem with using polyphosphates as a starter is that cold, wet soils do not have enough microbial activity to convert the poly to ortho quick enough. To be healthy seedlings need to get out of the ground and to the V2 stage with at least 0.35% phosphorous.

This is why a starter needs to be 100% orthophosphate. Late planted corn that germinates in warm soil could probably get by with a 70:30 ortho/poly mix.

One word of caution when selecting a starter; just because a fertilizer is ortho does not mean it is your best choice. DAP or diammonium phosphate is 100% ortho phosphate. It is available as a fertilizer grade, 18-46-0, or the technical grade 21-53-0 that can be liquefied. This fertilizer will give off free ammonia that will harm the seed and burn seedling tissue. Urea can do the same thing. Do not put either of these with the seed.

International Ag Labs has a 100% orthophosphate starter with an analysis of 8-25-0. It also has 0.1% zinc and 0.1% manganese. We purposely do not have potassium in the starter to keep the salt index as low as possible.

This starter is available by the semi load or by 275 gallon totes from our warehouse. We also have live microbial inoculants and support packages that can be applied with the starter. Give us a call if you would like to talk. 507-235-6909.

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OMRI Listed Allganic Nitrogen Plus 15-0-2

For those of you who might have missed it, we have a new Chilean nitrate to offer you.

In the words of our Chilean Nitrate supplier:

"... our new OMRI Listed Allganic Nitrogen Plus a homogenous blend of 95% sodium nitrate and 5% potassium sulfate. image

The great part about this product is that it is NOT classified as oxidizer, so it does not ship/store as Hazmat, which should save you on freight and handling costs.

The physical characteristics, such as solubility, are the same as the 16-0-0 product, and it is still 100% nitrate-nitrogen from Chile, so you can expect the same high quality prills you’re accustomed to.

We have this 15-0-2 product available now...and will phase out the 16-0-0 product and are moving completely towards this new and improved 15-0-2 going forward."

Send us your quote request along with your zip code & the amount of product you need. Thanks!


We are announcing a Spring Sale on liquid fish!

To initiate the 2017 growing season we are offering a 10% discount off all regular pricing of the 2-5-0.2 liquid fish & other variations of DRAMM fertilizers.

These sale prices will take effect immediately and end June 30th. Product is available in bulk tanker loads of 5000 gallons or in 275 gallon totes.

Let us know what you need & your zip code & we can get you a delivered cost.

Have a great growing season!

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