Tiny molecule permeates plant wall

BRANDON — Nachurs Alpine Solutions has a new K-Tech starter fertilizer called Alpine F18 Max.

Alpine’s Larry Balion, who was at Manitoba Ag Days recently to explain what’s special about the new product, said it comprises the usual nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium plus micronutrients.

“But what makes F18 Max different is the fact that we incorporate a special molecule for potassium. We work with a very small potassium acetate molecule. Its size allows it to permeate the surface of roots and leaves,” Balion said.

“K-Tech potassium enters the plant very quickly, especially when applied as a foliar. The K-Tech potassium absorption rate through the leaf is faster than any other potassium source out there.

“It’s a combined molecule that includes nitrogen and phosphorus, so when the potassium is absorbed by the leaf, the nitrogen and phosphorus come along with it.”

Balion said the product works well when applied in-furrow at seeding time. Once the seed germinates and roots are looking for food sources, they recognize the K-Tech molecule and the readily available nutrients it offers.

Plants need easy access to potassium early in the season during rapid growth and grain formation. Balion said potassium is relatively immobile, like phosphorous, so the special K molecule serves an important role. Not only does F18 Max promote quick nutrient absorption, he said, but it also stimulates rhizobial activity in the soil.

“If your soil test says you’re short of K, you’d probably want to put some K-Tech in with your fertilizer. If you don’t perceive a K problem before seeding, but into the season that changes, then do the foliar application to bring your production back up.

“The foliar product is available in Western Canada right now as the new F18 Max, K20-S and K24, which is a straight potassium with no other nutrients. We’re working on a formulation for in-furrow in Western Canada.”

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