How do Nouryon’s micronutrients work? A chelating agent called ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid allows iron — a generally insoluble compound — to dissolve in water and thus 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 soil depleted 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 create a “fertigation” process — fertilization and irrigation — 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 beneficial because it avoids certain fungi, but the soil’s high pH makes it hard for plants to get the nutrients they need. Fertigation using our micronutrients allows farmers to grow large, juicy grapes 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.
“Training others is one of the most important aspects of our job,” says Marcel. “Not only does it spread valuable knowledge about micronutrients, but it gives farmers around the globe a chance to do their jobs in a more streamlined, efficient, and profitable way — so everybody wins.”
As the global leader in chelated micronutrients, Nouryon sees micronutrient soil techniques as a crucial factor in the long-term sustainability of farming. In an effort to meet the projected demands for such techniques, the company recently invested 10 million euros to increase iron chelate production at its plant in Kvarntorp, Sweden, supplementing production at existing plants in the Netherlands and US.
Meanwhile, experts like Marcel and colleagues 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.”
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