Renewable Farming

Further field evidence that good nutrition helps crops resist disease, live longer

I met a new source of nutrition information after the Farm Progress Show at Bob Streit’s evening briefing for farmers in Boone, IA.

JR Santos of Brazil introduced himself and expressed interest in whether WakeUP could help mobilize his company’s line of nutrients, many of which are foliar-applied.

He’s based at Urbandale, IA as a technical agronomist for Spraytec, which distributes in America products developed primarily in Brazil.  As you know, Brazil faces difficult challenges with a wide array of soybean and corn diseases.  Spraytec has learned how to design nutritional supplements which reduce the vulnerability of crops to fungal attack. That can extend the useful life of the few remaining fungicidal products known either here or in Brazil.

JR (whose first name is Anselmo but he finds JR easier for the American tongue) told me he’d send some field-result photos, and we could pick up the discussion from there. The PDF which arrived shows some distinctly “different” field colors where certain nutrients were applied, as recommended by Spraytec. The English version of their website is at this link:

A few days ago, Bob Streit visited some of the Spraytec treated fields and confirmed to me that they’re further evidence that nutrients matter — just as described by the landmark book, “Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease” authored by Dr. Don Huber and associates. 

One of Spraytec’s beneficial nutrients is phosphite, a relative of phosphate, but used primarily as a therapy for plant health rather than a source of phosphorus.  We’ve been working with other Brazilian fertility experts, and a Florida chemist, on phosphite compounds in our field and lab tests. It looks like a promising arena for study, and we’ll follow up with reports on what we learn.

Meanwhile here’s a PDF with several photos, provided by agronomist JR Santos. Download from this link.

 Published Oct. 1, 2016 by Jerry Carlson