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Growing Together Winter 2020

Agro-K® Products Focus on Plant Physiology: New Foliar Micronutrient Added to Line-Up in 2020

Grow West® is a proud retailer of Agro-K’s foliar nutrition and soil biological systems for one main reason: they are among the best on the market. And Agro-K continues to make the best line-up even better by introducing a new foliar fertilizer to growers in time for 2020 spraying. The key to the effectiveness of Agro-K’s popular products is their science-based approach to developing formulations.

“Formulation matters,” says Mike Boer, Grow West Sales Manager for the North Coast. “Agro-K’s formulations for delivering the nutrients into the plant are superior. They go beyond getting the product into the leaf; Agro-K has developed technologies that are complete and systemic, delivering nutrients to whatever part of the plant needs them, including the roots. That’s where I believe the Agro-K line is superior over many, many other product lines.”

In a properly managed program, the unique formulation of Agro-K products build a foundation for more effective nutrient uptake, photosynthesis, and translocation of minerals, water, and other building blocks of healthy plants. Healthy plants, of course – whether vines, vegetables, tree fruit or nuts – are better able to tolerate the inevitable stresses of the growing season, producing more abundant, higher-quality harvests.

“Our products have evolved out of a comprehensive understanding of plant physiology,” explains Ken Dart, National Technical Manager for Agro-K. “This basis in the science of cellular-level plant development means our products are fine-tuned to help crops receive the nutrients they need precisely when that need peaks.” And they need it in the right form to be taken in quickly and completely for the best performance and value.

Agro-K products also are based in extensive knowledge of the interactions – positive or negative for plant development – of various chemistries within distinct crops and their environment.


Proven Products

Data from decades of trials by leading universities, crop consultants, cooperators and high-level producers have proven the sound science, efficacy and value of Agro-K technologies for improving plant performance and for the rapid-uptake and bioavailability of nutrients. Agro-K’s premier products include:

  • Sysstem Series line of foliar phosphites that leverage the unique properties of phosphites to rapidly penetrate plant tissue, move throughout the plant’s vascular system and stimulate beneficial plant responses. Phosphite ions are the perfect vehicle to deliver critical nutrients like calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese and potassium for rapid uptake and utilization by plants for maximum effect.
  • Dextro-Lac micronutrients made using a proprietary complexing method that utilizes two biologically important carbohydrate molecules – dextrose and lactose – to form a protective shield around nutrients to keep them in a readily available and plant-friendly form. Both dextrose and lactose are easily transported across cell membranes, making them ideal carriers for the encased plant nutrients with extremely low risk of phytotoxicity to tender fruit and foliage.
    • This category includes the Vigor formulations, which add value and performance using a proprietary biological finishing technique that improves plant response above and beyond the Dextro-Lac formulations.
  • CLEANTM line of certified organic nutrient and biological products.
  • Soil Biologicals that improve soil biology and root zone environment; accelerate crop residue break down; and increase nutrient cycling and nutrient availability in the soil.


Sysstem Leaf MaxTM New for 2020

New to the line-up for 2020 is Sysstem Leaf Max, which is being launched after four years of research.

“Sysstem Leaf Max is exciting because it offers a complete nutrient source in the right form for developing larger leaf size and chlorophyll,” says Dart. “The components of this foliar fertilizer—Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), and Molybdenum (Mo)—are formulated in a specific way that actually builds a complete chlorophyll molecule, which boosts the energy a plant can make. This results in balanced growth, better crop quality and yield, and also supports the long-term health of trees and vines. It does this in one product.”

Sysstem Leaf Max will be available for almonds, walnuts, grapes and other crops in a pre-mixed Phosphite/ Dextro-Lac solution sold in 2.5 gal. jugs and 250 gal totes. Growers can ask their Grow West PCAs for more details on this new product for their specific crops.


Right Nutrients at the Right Time

“The reason we invest so much on formulation technology is that a foliar nutrient is only effective and has value if it gets into the plant completely and at the right time,” Dart notes. “What makes a good foliar fertilizer is a poor soil fertilizer, and vice versa. That’s why it is so important for PCAs and growers to understand what nutrients their crop needs and when it needs them, as well as what forms are best for foliar or for soil applications, because they are not the same.”

Boer agrees.

“Timing is paramount,” he emphasizes. “A science-based approach, taking into account a plant’s physiology, ensures that you are fertilizing plants from the very beginning of peak nutrient demand. That’s the only way to maximize a plant’s genetic potential, and it also gives you the greatest ROI for your investment. As advisors, it’s our job to help growers optimally time their applications.”

As an example, Dart points out that a crop developing leaves needs the right nutrient in the right form as the leaves are expanding. That’s the time to be applying Zinc (Zn), Phosphate (P) and Nitrogen (N), because they drive leaf size. At the same time, you should be applying the micronutrients Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe) and Copper (Cu). These are building blocks for the chlorophyll that is developing as the leaves grow and expand. If you apply these nutrients after the leaves have fully formed (or in a form that doesn’t penetrate the leaf until after it fully forms), you don’t get the full value of the application for increased yield and quality.

“One of the reasons we selected Grow West to carry our products is that they have a really good team who understand the science, and work with growers to make sure applications are properly timed and executed,” adds Dart.


How to Maximize Nutritional ROI

Growers who understand science-based nutrition will be positioned to make the best choices for the best results, less waste, and increased economic returns.

Agro-K identifies “Five Rs” for applying soil and foliar nutrients:

  1. Right nutrient.
  2. Right time/crop stage.
  3. Right form. This is especially true when dealing with foliar nutrition, because the product formulation will dictate how completely and quickly the nutrient goes into the plant tissue and is able to be used by the crop.
  4. Right nutrient mix. Not all nutrients work well together in the plant at the same time.
  1. Right place in the plant (e.g., roots vs. leaves or fruit).

For more on the Five Rs and a list of science-based questions to ask your Grow West PCA, visit Agro-K’s website.

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