Ron Calhoun, PhD, Senior Manager for Plant Nutrition at Loveland Products, sat with AgriTalk’s Chip Flory to discuss the challenges that cool weather can bring when growers add dry nutrition to the soil during the fall.
Ron - Loveland Products: As we put our dry fertilizers like MAP, DAP, potash, and MESZ in the fall to get ready for next year, those dry materials need to be mineralized by the microbial communities in the soil for the nutrients in them to be available to our plants. Cool conditions in the fall and spring don't really propel that process forward, so that can limit the efficiency of those products. The mineralization process needs assistance to overcome the depressed microbial activity.
Chip - AgriTalk: Where does that assistance come from? Is it biochemistry?
Ron - Loveland Products: You're exactly right. We have a dry fertilizer enhancement product called Titan XC, and it is using that biochemistry from the soil microbial community to make the nutrition more available. We take that biochemistry and we'll actually sparge it onto the dry fertilizer ahead of time.
That way, when you're putting the treated dry fertilizer out, the biochemistry that would typically be provided by soil microorganisms is already on the fertilizer prills, so that we can start the mineralization process and have the nutrition ready to go when the crop season hits.
Chip - AgriTalk: How effective is Titan XC in boosting fertilizer efficiency?
Ron - Loveland Products: We have probably 300 trials from the last 12 to 15 years, and we're closing in on 100 million acres on which Titan XC-treated fertilizer has been applied. I would say, in general, we're looking at probably around a 15 to 20% improvement in nutrient use efficiency.
Designed for use with dry fertilizers, Titan XC contains concentrated biochemistry to help growers maximize the yield potential of their crops by increasing nutrient availability and uptake. It is compatible with a variety of dry fertilizer blends, including phosphate and potash (P & K) blends, MESZ, MES10, sulfate of potash and ammonium sulfate. Titan XC is available from Nutrien Ag Solutions.
This interview was edited for length and clarity. You can listen to the original interview below or on Agricen's YouTube channel.