By: Ken Brett – East Region Sales Manager

It’s no secret that prices on all fertilizer materials have seen upward pressure over the past year.  Like other years with higher crop prices, fertilizers typically follow these prices upward as demand for bigger yields during strong markets increases pressure on fertilizer supplies. Another factor at the current time is also several geo-political factors in the fertilizer marketplace.

When the numbers are crunched, crop revenue increases from fertilizer treatments are currently providing a higher return on investment than they were over the last 2 years when both fertilizer and crop prices were a bit lower.

Regardless, in times of booming crop prices or the periods of lower levels, we should all be “maximizing fertilizer efficiency”.  This phrase is ALPINE’s® new tagline, and it’s never been more important, both from a 4R environmental angle as well as making the best use of every dollar spent on fertilizers.

Everyone needs to take a look at their crop fertility program during these times to ensure that the application methods being used, as well as the fertilizer products chosen represent the most efficient practices available.  All crops respond to seed-placed starter fertilizer such as ALPINE G241-S®.  It contains a high level of orthophosphate which is the form required for root uptake, thus getting plants off to the best possible start.  Efficiencies are also gained with Bio-K® being the potassium source by providing highly soluble potassium as well as enhancing soil biology.  The small amount of Sulphur provided in ALPINE G241-S also helps to keep the proper N:S ratio which is critical for proper uptake of both nutrients.

Efficiencies can also be improved upon by looking at the “re-allocation” of crop nutrients.  This could mean adding more banded nutrients in a 2×2 band or through other options such as Precision Planting’s Furrow Jet or Conceal products.  Both of these products have the ability to place fertilizers close enough to the root zone for great uptake, but a safe distance away to avoid crop injury.  Many studies have shown the advantages of this “relay feeding” approach which gives the crop’s root system multiple nutrient feeding points throughout the growing season.

Foliar nutrient applications also allow for increased efficiencies.  These are typically applied in conjunction with crop protection products and allow growers to address specific crop needs during the exact timing required to maximize nutrient uptake.  ALPINE’s foliar products that include Bio-K potassium offer unmatched crop safety, nutrient uptake and compatibility.  When a sprayer is going through a field, it only makes sense to enhance the efficiency of that operation by adding a nutrient package to the mix.

ALPINE also has an exciting new product to add to UAN solutions to increase the efficiency of these applications.   ALPINE K19-S®, when included in a low ratio with broadcast or side-dressed UAN, brings highly available Bio-K potassium as well as Sulphur to the mix in order to increase Nitrogen uptake by creating better balances of these nutrients.

It’s exciting times growing high priced crops, and if attention to detail on building well-balanced, efficient crop fertility programs is kept in mind it will allow revenues to increase, but most importantly your farm profits will increase as well.



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