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As farm equipment has taken over the fields of rural Canada, spring seeding is well underway. From Peace River Country’s grain fields to Atlantic Canada’s potato hills, seeds have been carefully placed in our soils. Through strong grower management and the accuracy of precision equipment, we positioned our seeds and balanced fertility to provide the best opportunity for crop success. Looking to initiate good emergence, early plant vigor, and uniformity, we continue to monitor moisture and weather factors, making the needed adjustments throughout the days.
Having completed the exhausting task of competing against time and weather, we must turn our focus from crop establishment to the management of early vegetation. During this next opportunity of influence, we will concentrate on building plant structure and plant health through increased plant energy. This is also an opportunity to ground truth the success of our planting and our fertility placement programs, ensuring we have provided the best chance for our seeds to reach the genetic potential wrapped up inside.
In my last blog, I discussed Cations with a concentration on K and Mg to better understand their interactions and how they affect soil structure, pH, microbial activity, and plant nutrient efficiencies and growth. With potassium playing a considerable role in nutrient and water management, I want to draw more attention to maintaining our K levels as we strengthen early vegetation opportunities.
While concentrating on building plant structure and health through increased plant energy, ALPINE has developed a foliar line to amplify your plant’s energy potential. Our ALPINE Bio-K line, including ALPINE F18 Max, has been strategically designed to support your crops through the early vegetation cycle. Aided by orthophosphate and our patented potassium acetate to increase plant energy, ALPINE F18 Max™
is accompanied by fulvic acid and chelated micronutrients Zn, Mn, Cu & B. This uniquely balanced foliar product with low use rates that have a proven record for increasing ROI in many crops.
I have included photos of ALPINE F18 Max utilized this spring in winter wheat and tissue samples supporting plant uptake. With our goal to set up your crop for tremendous success, Maximizing Fertilizer Efficiency from Start2Finish will continue to be emphasized as we expand our knowledge throughout 2023.
Trust that you stay safe as we stretch the boundaries of our management thinking, expanding the boundaries of tremendous yield success.
-Steve McQueen, Agronomy Manager
Click on the images to view them.
In keeping with my passion for soils and plants and a few of the challenges from the first ALPINE Blog, I felt compelled to continue with balanced fertility as we discuss the features and strengths of ALPINE G241-S. Introduced several seasons ago, ALPINE G241-S brings so many attributes to your starter program, developing a quick and uniform start and enhancing our yield potential at that first point of influence, germination.
To differentiate ALPINE G241-S and create a stronger understanding of its value, one must consider how it meets so many requirements for your seeds. First, we know that plants can only take up nutrients that are in solution. Next, we understand that plants use phosphate in the form of orthophosphate. We also know the importance of increased microbial activity to enhance germination and convert nutrients in the soil to plant-available forms. From a balanced fertility standpoint, there is greater phosphorous efficiency when N, P, and K are accompanied in a blend, and a lower seed-safe salt index would be beneficial.
Now, if your seed had a chance to order a starter program, why would ALPINE G241-S be an obvious choice? For starters, ALPINE G241-S is a balanced N-P-K liquid starter, filling the solubility requirement very well. Secondly, it is 80% orthophosphate, available immediately for plant uptake. With a neutral pH and a low salt index, it can be placed in-furrow with the seed, increasing early root interception, key for phosphorous uptake. Having a sulfur component to synergize the effectiveness of the balanced nutrients strongly positions ALPINE G241-S in the marketplace. BUT the key to differentiation is in the “K”!!
The potassium source that powers ALPINE G241-S is our ALPINE Bio-K, potassium acetate. This patented form of potassium sets a new standard in plant available “K.” It is the most soluble form of potassium, with a very low salt index. Having a small molecular structure amplifies plant uptake, creating maximum fertilizer efficiency. Along with this potassium source is the acetate component, which develops an abundance of plant and soil synergies for greater success. As a quick overview, upon immediate uptake by the seedlings, plant cells quickly respond to the acetate, increasing the metabolism to increase nutrient uptake and efficiencies. The ALPINE Bio-K is also a food source for microbials and will assist with increasing microbial activity. And with this increased activity and early germination and root growth, we can take advantage of your total crop plan, whether it be broadcasted, strip-till, or 2×2 dry, as well as manure and compost applications. Our true goal is to set up your crop for greater success, Maximizing Fertilizer Efficiency from Start2Finish.
To include some learning experiences, I have added ground truth photos, including roots prepared for scan images I promised. Please look; I will further discuss our ALPINE Bio-K and root scan results in our continuing blogs.
-Steve McQueen, Agronomy Manager
With the warming sun of spring comes the budding of new life as it unfolds across our Canadian landscape. How quickly do snow-covered alfalfa, winter wheat, canola, and rye crops pick up where they left off in the fall? If you take one glance and then look away, you will miss the wonderment that is taking place before your eyes.
A passion for soils and plants can only be appreciated with mud on your boots as you ground truth your fields. The mystery beneath the crop is full of secrets yet valuable information to assist with tremendous crop success. With shovel in hand, it is time to evaluate plant and soil health, supporting and verifying your cropping plans.
With this first blog comes a challenge: better understanding the difference between applying fertilizer or balancing fertility needs for the crop. Are we estimating yields and using removal rates, or are we monitoring our crop progression and strategically managing fertility to enhance crop growth? What strategy do we have with only a few opportunities to influence these crops?
The photos that accompany this blog were taken on April 10th, walking across this winter wheat field, investigating a benchmark for how we can amplify this crop’s success. With different ALPINE fall fertility programs and micronutrient applications, I want to gain knowledge for this crop and future years. One can better understand how the fall fertility decisions have paid off by retrieving plants and roots.
As this is just one snapshot, I look forward to sharing more information on how ALPINE Bio-K can make a difference. From root scans measuring root tips to tissue analysis monitoring nutrient balance and an opportunity to measure microbial activity.
Understanding that we can only manage what we can measure, what actions have you taken or planned to take this month? Have you walked your fields, measured the temperature, dug up some roots, and even washed them off? Does the color of your crops look the same on your knees as it does driving by, and is the plant stands as even as expected?
These are all learning experiences that ground truth will provide to build your knowledge for more informed decisions. Please take a walk, and see that plants and roots have a story to tell and will respond to your attention to detail. And in my next blog, I will reveal some root scan results and measuring tips for your success as we Maximize Fertilizer Efficiency together.
-Steve McQueen, Agronomy Manager
The importance of ALPINE G22® for your crops-
ALPINE G22® helps crops get off to a fast start with quicker emergence and a more extensive root system. This is especially important in western Canada, where the growing season is short.
What makes G22® different than the other products on the market-
ALPINE G22® is locally manufactured in Belle Plaine, SK. This product has a high orthophosphate content, while most of our competitor’s products are high in polyphosphate. ALPINE G22® is a very clean filtered product that does not plug orifices on drills and seeders. Unlike most of our competitive products, it can also be stored during winter in western Canada. ALPINE G22® comes with exceptional equipment service and support from our sales managers.
For more information, click here or contact your local ALPINE sales manager.
About Nachurs Alpine Solutions®
Nachurs Alpine Solutions (NAS) became a division of Wilbur-Ellis in 2019. NAS is a 75-year-old specialty chemical business that pioneered the low salt liquid starter fertilizer industry by introducing the first true solution liquid NPK fertilizer. Today, NPK liquid fertilizers sold by NAS are marketed under the NACHURS brand in the United States and under the ALPINE brand in Canada. For more information visit www.nachurs-alpine.com
About the Wilbur-Ellis Companies
Founded in 1921, the Wilbur-Ellis companies are leading international marketers, distributors and manufacturers of agricultural products, animal nutrients and specialty chemicals and ingredients. By developing strong relationships, making strategic market investments, and capitalizing on new opportunities. For more information, please visit www.wilburellis.com
Thirteen years ago, soil chemistry and agronomy led Brad Hanmer to use ALPINE liquid fertilizer to provide in-furrow liquid orthophosphate in his farm’s challenging soil. He still uses ALPINE G22 today because he’s seen it consistently deliver results, and he’s benefited from the ability to use his ALPINE delivery system to easily apply other nutrients and inoculants to his crops if he needs them.
Hanmer chose to move to liquid fertilizer because of the science behind the product. His farm in Saskatchewan has high pH, high Ca and high Mg soil that ties up nutrients, so he needed a way to deliver available phosphorous to the plants during seeding.
ALPINE G22 does not require warm soil and moisture to convert to plant available orthophosphate unlike other phosphate sources. It is readily available and can be used up by emerging seedlings regardless of the soil condition. Its benefits are magnified in cold, dry soil, but Hanmer has seen it work consistently in his farm’s challenging soil conditions regardless of temperature or moisture levels.
While Hanmer originally used ALPINE G22 liquid fertilizer because of the science, its performance along with consistency and quality has made the company a trusted partner.
“ALPINE is a true hot mix product,” says Hanmer, speaking of the manufacturing process the company uses to create its liquid fertilizer. “They provide a new molecule from clean sources as opposed to a suspension-based orthophosphate or by-product based liquid fertilizers.”
After his ALPINE District Sales Manager helped Hanmer set up the equipment to store and deliver the fertilizer, he found he had a mechanism that made it easy to deliver beneficial ingredients, like micro-nutrients or inoculants, at seeding and in foliar nutrition programs developed in concert with the ALPINE technical team. That ability combined with one-on-one support has helped him get the best crop possible, even in the most challenging years.
While Hanmer’s operation runs five drills each seeding about 6,000 acres, he believes the advantage of ALPINE liquid fertilizer is the same regardless of the farm size simply because all crops require quality nutrients to reach their agronomic potential. ALPINE allows him to deliver them in the right form, at the right rate, in the right place, at the right time.
“I have not forgotten when my first ALPINE rep told me that in our type of soil their ALPINE G22 would provide a highly available, concentrated, safe phosphorous as a solution to the limitations caused by my soil,” says Hanmer. “That holds true 13 years later.”
As crop growers, it must be nearly a full time job at times of the year trying to analyze all the plots, side-by-side trials and government information to make an informed and economically beneficial management decision regarding management practices for your operation.
We’ve all walked soybean fields and observed how sometimes the top cluster of pods is finished nicely and sometimes they aren’t. Many use the term “Florida pods” to describe these, since the yield from them represent the extra profit that can take the family on a trip to Florida.
This is a must do!!
REMEMBER – These are living organisms that need to be protected and handled with care!!
It’s the time of year when all of us in crop production start doing the analyzing about what we did right or wrong in this year’s cropping program. ALPINE’s the same in that we look over yield data from the many plots we put out each season, trying to find new and different products to boost grower’s profits.
Agronomy Equipment Region East
Wheat planting season will soon be upon us and it is important to plan ahead before putting the first seed in the ground. The previous crop has a part to play in planting this year’s wheat.Read more