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Plant Fertilizer

The Fertigation Concept and Related Products

Around 11 000 years ago, humans living in a region near Mesopotamia known as the “Fertile Crescent” initiated a lifestyle transition that would eventually change the whole world. They abandoned their role as hunter-gatherers to become earth’s first farmers. Their region was blessed with fertile soil and regular rainfall – ideal conditions for raising grains and grass-eating livestock. Today, when the challenge is to feed billions rather than thousands, most farms rely heavily on manufactured fertilisers and irrigation systems. However, fertigation products now offer the farmer the means to kill two birds with one stone.

The Benefits of Using Liquid Fertigation Products

The term is a composite of fertilisation and irrigation. For much of agricultural history, farmers replenished and maintained the soil’s fertility by adding animal manure and vegetable compost. For plants to absorb the nutrients contained in these natural fertilisers, they must be in solution. Adequate watering is essential to achieve this during low rainfall periods or drought and to establish newly planted crops. Performing these two functions separately can be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, the introduction of liquid fertigation products now makes it possible for growers to save time and money by performing these two vital operations simultaneously.

Plant FertilizerHowever, these savings are not the only benefit of combining these two actions. When applying nutrients in liquid form, they will be immediately available for absorption by plant root systems. In this way, takeup is maximised so root growth is rapid, and there will be minimal loss of nutrients due to runoff. Ammonium and potassium nitrate, urea, phosphoric acid, and ammonium thiosulphate are among the substances commonly included in fertigation products. Depending on their precise composition, some preparations may also act as soil conditioners or pH adjusters.

Delivery System Options

Delivery systems are available for large-scale enterprises, small farms and even greenhouses. Some are manually operated, while others have automated control systems. An integrated timer allows the farmer to determine when the system works and for how long. Users of these systems may choose to apply drip, sprinkler or flood irrigation methods. The drip option tends to be the most efficient as it requires less pressure, is easily adjustable, and ensures the system will deliver the fertigation products directly to the root zone.

While users can prepare the mixtures themselves, it is not advisable. Interactions between incompatible components can adversely affect pH and cause some contents to precipitate. For example, this can occur when mixing phosphorus or sulphur with calcium. Don’t take a chance. Join the many discerning farmers in South Africa who purchase their fertigation products containing nitrogen-retaining Agrotain® from the industry leader, Kynoch.

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