It should be noted that the Brazilian agribusiness is facing a watershed, due to the difficulty of obtaining fertilizers and other products for agricultural production, with the high production costs of the last crops, due to the health crisis of Covid-19, a situation exacerbated by the war. In Ukraine, it caused fears of fertilizer shortage in the world and contributed to increasing fears in the agricultural sector.
It is interesting to note, in this context, that this situation has led to a race to develop new technologies in an attempt to reduce external dependence on fertilizers, which come mostly from Eastern Europe, where virtually all the raw materials needed for crops come from Brazilian plants, such as herbicides and insecticides and fungicides, among others.
When observing the development of the 2021/2022 soybean crop, in the municipalities of Guaranta do Norte and Novo Mundo, northern Mato Grosso state, in the same area of the BR-163 axis, the real urgency of new technologies to enhance agribusiness was noted, especially in terms of soil fertility and health the plant.
As a result of this difficult scenario for cereal producers in Brazil, a very promising picture emerges for those who have options that meet the fertility and nutrition needs of plants, and in Guarantã do Norte and Novo Mundo, for example, it was possible to verify, also, in many crops of maize in the off-season 2022 , from a lack of nitrogen, an essential component of grain production.
Despite the difficulty in obtaining fertilizers, some producers decided to plant the second crop of corn in its best window, which is the months of January and February, and in these crops nitrogen was needed, since there was a lot of rain. In the region at the beginning of this year, as a result of the expansion of the phenomenon of La Niña.
Nitrogen deficiency in crops
As it is known, nitrogen in the case of 46% of urea is a highly volatile element, reaching in some cases a volatility of more than 80% in the field, especially in cases of bad weather and high temperatures combined with other elements. Nitrogen, which was caused not by the lack of sufficient distribution of this element in crops, but by the listed factors, heavy rains and high temperatures. . As a result, this nutrient is lost, before the necessary one is absorbed by the plant.
In addition to temperature, other factors that directly affect the volatility of 46% of urea in the field are pH, moisture and the amount of organic residues on the soil surface, which are elements that have a direct impact on the activity of urea. After the application of urea, the formation of ammonium carbonate occurs during the process of hydrolysis, in a rapid process in the soil – three to seven days after the application of urea – which involves the consumption of protons, increasing the pH of the soil when, at the same time, around the compost granules, Which leads to volatilization losses, regardless of the pH of the original soil.
To measure the amount of nitrogen to be applied, it is necessary to take into account at least two factors: the expected grain yield and the previous crop present in the area. These two parameters estimate how much nitrogen is actually available in the soil, since leguminous plants such as soybeans can leave around 15 kg of nitrogen per ton of grain produced.
Therefore it is very important to know some points such as, for example, the history of the region; the amount of organic matter in the soil; Nitrogen source climatic conditions (eg weather, climate, soil type, etc.); farming system (no-till and conventional); Whether the maize is of the first or second crop, and finally of the germplasm used. And if the producer really knows his area and does the correct planning of fertilization, he can avoid this lack of nitrogen in the corn.
Apart from this concern with the possibility of counteracting the deficiency of such an important element for the development of the crop, such as nitrogen, the producer still faces the problem of supplementation of fertility, which is one of the equally determinant factors for obtaining the best results in the crop.
Fertility supplement in crops
When it comes to supplementing the fertility in crops, whether it is corn, soybeans or any other crop, innovation and adoption of new technologies really bring excellent results, which can be seen by producers from Guarantã in the North and in the New World, precisely for choosing to work with innovations in Agriculture in terms of fertility integration, with the adoption of a food complex that has a lot of applied technology, including nanotechnology and biodegradable products, such as high assimilation enzymes that do not harm the environment and help the functioning of microorganisms in the soil.
Those who chose the fertility supplement in their crops, and replaced 50% of their nitrogen coverage with a pure leaf-based fertility supplement, had higher yields than others in the same area, and did not feel a nitrogen deficiency in their crops. The plant ended up absorbing the element in a staggered manner, according to its nutritional needs, and the farm got a better development, without causing the so-called “pacifier effect” on the corn cobs, thus avoiding deformation of its tip. In many cases, this has an expressive representation in corn yield, and can cause over 30% yield losses, if the nitrogen need is not met.
In short, nitrogen is an essential element of plant metabolism, as it is part of the formation of chlorophyll, an essential component of photosynthesis, with structural and functional participation in cells, being one of the components of vitamins, carbohydrates, enzymes, amino acids and proteins .. Its lack affects the development of cultures and represents product losses.
Therefore, when there is a fertility supplement, it is possible to ensure a higher yield compared to other crops with the same yield around it, as the technology avoids the lack of nitrogen and the plant absorbs the element in a staggered manner. In other words, the innovation brings financial benefits to the product, being a less expensive and more beneficial alternative by reducing the fertility cost and even the operational cost of the crop, as they can be customized for their spray applications.
Source: By Rafael Winterfield Barbieri is CEO of Agrotec.BR Agronegócios and Technical Director of Grupo Agro 10 Negócios & Desenvolvimento