August 2020

How to easily improve the bioavailability of nutrients and agrochemicals

One of the biggest challenges for the present and future of agriculture and for humanity in general is water management.

Nowadays, in new areas of the world, water is becoming a limited and expensive resource and thus its use in all the productive sectors is under strict observation.

Very often for agricultural purposes it is necessary to use water of reduced quality or in lower quantity (due to the limited availability or to the high cost) compared to the recent practices and the habits of the farmers.

This complex situation around such an essential resource is responsible for creating problems at different levels in the daily management of a crop, particularly in terms of crop feeding and protection.

Indeed, both solubilization of fertilizers and of products for plant protection are dependents on the quality of the water: higher is the quality of the water, the higher is the efficacy of the application.

Because of the growing scarcity of  water under qualitative and quantitative terms, it has become important to try to optimize the performance of the water that is available in each farm and field.

Nowadays one of the simplest and cheapest ways to improve the results (solubility, miscibility, availability) of the products used during the growing cycle is the correction and the regulation of the pH of the water.

For this purpose, there are many products in the market that differ for formulation and mechanism of action. In general, their efficacy is strongly related to the intrinsic characteristics of the water such as pH, electrical conductivity, salinity, hardness, composition in carbonates and bicarbonates and presence of organic matter.

As per common convention, the pH is considered the most important parameter to be monitored (and corrected) to positively improve the solubilization of nutritional and protective elements.

In case of fertilizers and pesticides the unwritten and generical recommendations refer to the need of reducing the pH of the water to 5.5-6.0 (so, closer to the physiological pH of the plant cells) to improve their efficacy, while in case of herbicides the suggestions are of reducing even more the pH.

All of this should be done to increase the nutrient availability, reduce precipitations and alkaline hydrolysis that can happen in many active substances such as organic insecticides, natural and synthetic pyrethroids, chlorinated hydrocarbons, carbamates and organophosphates in case of a pH > 7.

On this topic, PROTEO INTERNATIONAL S.r.l. has developed and suggests the regular use of PH MINUS. It is a fluid fertilizer that allows to reduce the pH of water, solubilize certain dissolved salts, improve their homogenization in the solution, increase the availability of nutrients (especially Calcium and Magnesium), avoid precipitation and hydrolysis.

From the practice point of view, PH MINUS improves both cuticular penetration and uptake of nutrients and phytosanitary products, and increases the compatibility between the products added in the solution. In other words, PH MINUS allows optimizing the costs of nutritional and protective products because allowing to use them at 100%.

The simplicity in the use of PH MINUS is due to the presence in the formulation of a colorimetric pH indicator that induces a change in the color of the water in function of the quantity added of the product. The color of obtained the solution, clearly recognizable by the farmer must be compared with the colorimetric scale in the label.

PH MINUS reduces the risks of occlusions of filters and nozzles and maintains the pH stable for approximately 24 hours, allowing postponed treatment compared to the moment of preparation of the solution.

For more info search PH MINUS in the Products section and download the Technical data sheet.