Improving Nitrogen Efficiency by Increasing Soluble Carbon

By: John Kelly

For the last 70 years, economical and abundant nitrogen availability has meant that nitrogen has rarely been a limiting factor in achieving increased yields. Current dynamics in the agricultural market, including regulatory and pricing pressures, warrant a discussion of nitrogen and potential solutions for improved efficiency.

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers applied to the soil all tend to eventually stabilize in the nitrate-nitrogen form due to microbial interactions. In the nitrate form (NO3-), the nitrogen is extremely mobile in the soil. Because of the chemical composition of nitrate-nitrogen and the soil, it is highly susceptible to leaching past the root zone.

Nitrate-nitrogen is readily absorbed by the root membrane and is the primary form of nitrogen taken up by the plant. Nitrate-nitrogen is stored in the cell vacuole and needs to reduce to an ammoniacal form (NH2+) to combine with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen for the formation of amino acids. Excess nitrate-nitrogen accumulation in the cells leads to chemical and physiological changes in the cells that are detrimental. Nitrogen metabolism to amino acids is essential for optimum crop performance. Key sources of carbon are often the limiting factor in efficient nitrogen metabolism.

Three agronomic strategies that can dramatically improve crop nitrogen performance:

1. Balanced Nutrition

The management of optimum plant levels of the other essential plant nutrients will greatly offset the tendency to store too much nitrate-nitrogen in the plant cells. Potassium is especially critical. Redox Solutions that will assist in these strategies:

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diKaP:

A phosphorus and potassium fertilizer that contains proprietary soluble carbon compounds. diKaP reduces abiotic stress and improves plant potassium and phosphorus nutrition.

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Rx Platinum:

A phosphorus and potassium fertilizer that contains proprietary soluble carbon compounds. Rx Platinum reduces abiotic stress, improves root growth, and increases soil microbial diversity due to humic, fulvic, and long-chain soluble carbon content. Platinum utilizes technology from its proprietary formulations of diKaP, Rootex, and H-85.

2. Nitrogen Input Management

The strategies for source, frequency, and rate. The addition of key carbon technology will improve nitrogen efficiency. Redox has several product solutions that will assist in these strategies:

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H-85 Flowable:

A soluble carbon product that improves root growth, and increases soil microbial diversity due to humic, fulvic, and long-chain soluble carbon content. Increased soil microbial activity reduces nitrogen losses.

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DermaPlex+:

A biologically and chemically reacted plant nutrient high in soluble carbon. DermaPlex+ improves soil biology and soil health due to the short-, medium-, and long-chain soluble carbon content and key Trichoderma metabolites. Increased soil microbial activity reduces nitrogen losses.

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RootRx:

A botanical extract product derived from black walnut and willow. RootRx contains proprietary soluble carbon compounds that improve antioxidant production and stimulate root growth & metabolism. RootRx reduces abiotic stress by increasing root quality and quantity, resulting in improved soil health. Greater root mass improves root nitrogen absorption.

3. Efficient Nitrogen Metabolism

Critical reproductive structure development stages increase crop performance potential. A Redox Solution that will assist in this strategy:

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Supreme:

A reacted plant nutrient that contains soluble carbon compounds derived from a proprietary fermentation process. Supreme dramatically improves the plants’ ability to properly metabolize nitrogen. This can lead to improved crop set and therefore improved yield potential.

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