Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Building Your Pre-Planting Strategy
You’ve been thinking about the next crop and wondering what to prepare for. Will it be a wet or dry spring, or will a late snow prevent you from getting out into the fields exactly when you’d planned?

No matter the situation, pre-plant planning is as important as putting the seeds in the soil.

As you start the planting season, your goal is to grow healthy plants for high yields and hope limiting factors won’t adversely impact that crop. For plants to have the best start, they should have what they need from the very beginning.

“When you start thinking about what you can do to help your crop get started, think about placement,” said Evan King, technical agronomist for Koch Agronomic Services (KAS). “We’re not discussing placement in the field, but the placement of nutrients. Think about a germinating seedling. That seed is living off itself for the first couple weeks of life. It doesn’t have exploratory roots to mine nutrients out of the soil. If it doesn’t have the critical nutrition it needs for early growth, you will be suffering from limiting factors before the plant has even broken through the topsoil.”

King, who has worked in agronomy for more than a decade, says the early vegetative growth of the seed is dependent upon the embryo feeding off of the starches and stored nutrients in the seed until it can access soil nutrition. But what’s stored there is a very small amount, so adding key nutrients directly to the seed before planting is a huge advantage.

Growers who want their crop to have that initial advantage are turning to solutions like PROTIVATE nutritional seed enhancer from KAS.

“PROTIVATE is designed to give young plants the critical nutrients they need for optimal crop establishment,” King said. “By applying PROTIVATE directly to the seed, nutrients are available near the root zone and delivered in the early growth stage when they are needed the most.”

The three formulations of PROTIVATE offer growers a flexible way to put nutrition right where the crop needs it:

  • For corn and major row crops, NU4-DRI contains nitrogen – a critical component in the building block of proteins and needed for photosynthesis.
  • The NU5-DRI formulation, ideal for soybeans and all other major pulse crops, contains iron and molybdenum which can contribute to improved metabolic processes, nodulation development and efficient nitrogen fixation.
  • The NU5-LUX formulation is used in downstream applications, containing an added shine component to enhance the finished appearance of the seed.

“The importance of this cannot be understated – because even with starter fertilizers, the seed does not yet have roots to access the vital nutrition it needs to thrive,” King said. “By having these nutrients applied directly on the seed with PROTIVATE, growers can produce bigger, stronger and faster-growing plants right out of the gate.”

Early spring weather challenges

In many regions, the spring season can begin with cold and wet soils. Spring showers can sometimes keep conditions cooler, becoming a limiting factor for plant growth and nutrient mobility, creating the potential for nutrient deficiencies.

With PROTIVATE, you get a seed nutrition portfolio that can positively impact your crop from day one.

“By providing the proper balance of nutrients early on, they can thrive in the early growth stages,” said Lacie Thomas, a technical agronomist for KAS. “The faster your crop can get established, the better off it will be.”

Located in Michigan, Thomas sees growers trying to get out into their fields earlier to give their crop as much time as they can to reach maximum growth potential.

“In early spring, emergence can be hindered by some of those cool, wet soil conditions that do not promote strong plant growth,” Thomas said. “With the highly concentrated nutrients in PROTIVATE covering the seed, including nutrients such as phosphate, zinc, manganese, nitrogen, iron and molybdenum, growers have the peace of mind in knowing their seedlings are being set up for success with a more robust root system.”

Along with critical nutrients, PROTIVATE provides operational efficiencies. Multiple formulations can be used in a variety of application methods to best fit your needs. The seed enhancement also acts as a talc replacement. Even in high humidity conditions, PROTIVATE works as a seed-drying solution, improving seed singulation and flowability during planting.

Additional Solutions

Along with seed enhancements, KAS offers a full portfolio of nutrient management and protection solutions.

Micronutrients are a key component of any crops’ nutrient management plan, providing plants the nutrients they need throughout the growth cycle. WOLF TRAX DDP micronutrients are uniquely designed to coat onto dry fertilizer blends and specially formulated to simplify nutrient management, boost crop performance and maximize your fertilizer investment.

Two nitrogen stabilizers from KAS can help you maximize your nitrogen availability. CENTURO nitrogen stabilizer is an easy-to-handle nitrification inhibitor that protects the nitrogen in anhydrous ammonia or UAN applications from leaching and denitrification. ANVOL nitrogen stabilizer protects UAN and urea from volatilization loss.

Delivering highly effective performance results and optimized yields, CENTURO has helped growers meet their nutrient management, nitrogen efficiency and yield goals. CENTURO’s noncorrosive formula is gentle on equipment to reduce downtime associated with equipment damage and works in the soil to keep more nitrogen available for plant uptake.

ANVOL is designed to extend the window of nitrogen protection with the dual active ingredients of Duromide and NBPT. By combining NBPT with the patented active ingredient Duromide, growers get the longest-lasting protection against ammonia volatilization over a wider range of soil conditions.

“As you review your pre-planting strategy, be proactive and take advantage of the solutions available to you,” Thomas said. “By adding products like PROTIVATE, WOLF TRAX, CENTURO or ANVOL to your nutrient management plan up front, you can maximize your yield potential and return on investment.”

To learn more about PROTIVATE and the full line of KAS agronomic products, contact your local KAS sales representative.

When it comes to input costs, every grower knows that each year will be unique. Between weather, seed, machinery, crop inputs and labor costs, commodity pricing and so much more, growers know they can expect only one thing—the unexpected.
Article Categories: Input Costs
You know that the plant uptake of key nutrients can make or break your crop’s yield potential. Without essential nutrient availability at the root zone, your crop will not reach optimal growth and you could miss out on the payout at harvest. But do you know the critical factors that can impact plant growth?