Farmers worldwide are faced with tough questions: How can higher quantities of food be produced for a growing population? How can depleted soil be rejuvenated for reuse? How can plants on alkaline soils be fed with enough micronutrients to stay healthy? What farming methods can we implement to keep our business sustainable?
Nouryon’s agronomists serve as global experts on cutting-edge fertilization techniques that create rich soil and fruitful harvests in lands once deemed unusable. They travel to the world’s most remote places to teach customers and other partners, also via e-learning methods, how to make use of chelated micronutrients in drip irrigation techniques which make agriculture possible on poor soils or in arid areas. Micronutrients are essential fertilizers only needed in small quantities by plants in order to grow and produce a good quality harvest. This is a crucial practice for many of the world’s farms, which are experiencing the devastating effects of overpopulation and climate change.
High performance chelated micronutrients deliver essential metals to plants, increasing agricultural productivity. This is increasingly more important as rising world population reduces the amount of arable land for food production, necessitating the cultivation of poor soils. Application by fertigation – where plant nutrients are supplied in an aqueous solution – is key in this segment. Further development of urban farming and greenhouse hydroponics techniques is another key.
A chelating agent called ethylene diamine tetra acetic (EDTA) acid allows iron — a generally insoluble compound — to dissolve in water and to be absorbed by plants, eliminating the need for soil and enabling plants to thrive in fully aqueous or hydroponic cultures. When used in the form of micronutrient fertilizers, the same technique can offer a crucial boost for the availability of essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese, and copper.
Advances in hydroponic farming have created opportunities to grow certain plants in soils that would otherwise be unfit from lack of nutrients or high pH levels which impede nutrient absorption. For example, drip irrigation systems with Nouryon’s chelated, water-soluble micronutrients can be used in fertigation – fertilization and irrigation at the same time — which enables optimal nutrient absorption and better yields with less water.
“This method is currently being used in dryer parts of South America for grapes,” says Nouryon agronomist Marcel Bugter. “The dry land is suitable after installing drip irrigation for growing crops, but the soil’s high pH makes it hard for plants to get the nutrients they need. Fertigation and using our micronutrients allows farmers to grow large, juicy grapes, for example, on land that wasn’t usable before.”
Agronomy experts like Marcel work with leading fertilizer brands, as well as with distributors and agronomist teams worldwide, to provide valuable micronutrient training that can then be passed on to individual farmers.
As the global leader in chelated micronutrients, Nouryon sees micronutrient soil techniques as a crucial factor in the long-term sustainability of farming. In line with our commitment to a sustainable future, experts like Marcel of the Micronutrients team of Wout Neleman, Director Micronutrients, are helping Nouryon to achieve its mission of supporting and educating distributors and farmers worldwide.
“It’s a matter of necessity,” Wout says. “Population growth and climate change aren’t slowing down. We must make the most of the land we’ve been given and use innovative methods to preserve it. Through advanced hydroponic and fertigation techniques and specialized micronutrient fertilizers, Nouryon’s products are making a vital difference for farmers around the world. Our Micronutrients team is proud to be a part of this.”