MONTREAL, QC, March 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As growers prepare to head into the field and fertilizer prices are at an all time high, Lallemand Plant Care is reminding growers to make the most of the nutrients already present in the soil.
Nitrogen is an essential element for plant growth and development. It’s one of the most important macronutrients required by plants, and its uptake from the soil plays a crucial role in crop productivity. Nitrogen is found in the soil in various forms, and its availability depends on several factors, including the type of soil, the amount of organic matter present, and the microbial activity in the soil.
To ensure optimal nitrogen uptake by plants, growers can use several strategies. One of the most effective strategies is to apply fertilizers that contain nitrogen, but the prices of nitrogen have skyrocketed over the last year, in some cases three times the previous price. This is due to supply chain issues and the continued conflict in Ukraine, which is one of the world’s main fertilizer and grain producers. These rising costs have significantly increased the overhead for growers, putting them in tough positions when it comes to growing the highest quality and yields possible.
Another strategy that can be used to improve nitrogen uptake by plants is to improve soil health. Healthy soils contain a rich diversity of microorganisms that help break down organic matter and release nutrients such as nitrogen. How do growers harness those nutrients to improve the quality of their crops though?
Nicolas Watters, the Tech Support Agronomist for Lallemand Plant Care, says that “if you have the proper inoculant, you could fix more nitrogen and leave some for the following crops. What we mean by that is that when you use rhizobia, it is able to fix the nitrogen from the atmosphere. But the idea is that the plant will not always use it all and will have some left in the soil.”
Watters also mentioned that incorporating pulse crops into your crop rotation is a great tool to naturally boost the soil’s nitrogen level, setting up the growing conditions to be more nutrient rich and favorable for the following crops.
Beyond the rotation of pulse crops, several factors influence the process of nitrogen uptake in soil. Soil pH, soil temperature, and moisture content affect the availability of nitrogen in the soil. Soil moisture content is also critical for nitrogen uptake, as water is required to dissolve and transport nitrogen compounds to plant roots. However, excess water can lead to the leaching of nitrogen from the soil, reducing its availability to plants.
Lallemand’s product, LALFIX START SPHERICAL Granule, has proven to be a significantly useful tool for growers in utilizing the existing nitrogen within the soil. Described on their website as a “multi-strain premium spherical granule formulation made of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae to nodulate roots and fix N2 in a symbiotic relationship with the plant and Bacillus velezensis solubilizes phosphorus via two unique modes of action.”
Watters refers to the product as “an all-in-one approach that utilizes a rhizobia inoculant, which is a nitrogen fixation bacteria and is a microbe that people already use and know of.”
How is nitrogen absorbed and utilized by the plants? The process of nitrogen uptake in plants involves several steps, including root uptake, transport to the shoot, and assimilation into plant tissues. The first step in nitrogen uptake is the absorption of inorganic nitrogen compounds by plant roots. The process occurs through specialized structures on the root surface called root hairs. These structures increase the surface area of the root and facilitate the absorption of water and nutrients, including nitrogen compounds.
After absorption, the inorganic nitrogen compounds are transported through the plant to the shoot for assimilation. The transport process occurs through the xylem and phloem, which are specialized tissues responsible for the movement of water and nutrients within the plant.
Once the nitrogen compounds reach the shoot, they are absorbed into plant tissues. The absorption process involves the conversion of inorganic nitrogen compounds to organic nitrogen compounds, such as amino acids, nucleic acids, and proteins, which are required for plant growth and development. The process occurs in the chloroplasts of the leaf cells, where the nitrogen compounds are combined with carbon dioxide to form organic compounds in a process known as photosynthesis.
Understanding the factors that influence nitrogen uptake in soil is critical for efficient plant nutrition management, which can improve crop yields and reduce environmental pollution. Lallemand’s products are focused on these factors and ensuring that agriculture continues to move in a sustainable direction.
About Lallemand and Lallemand Plant Care
Since the beginning of the 20th Century, LALLEMAND has been an expert in yeast and bacteria manufacturing. The family-owned company is now a global leader in the development, production, and marketing of microorganisms for various agri-food industries. Using sound science and know-how, LALLEMAND PLANT CARE (LPC) works closely with clients to deliver the right technology, in the right formulation, for the right application. As one of the worldwide market leaders in biologicals LPC is committed to solving grower challenges, significantly improving yield and crop vitality. To learn more about Lallemand Plant Care visit www.lallemandplantcare.com.