It is critical to understand fertilizer components claimed on labels and the many factors that are related to blending and manufacturing processes for making the right fertilizer choice for your turf. Comparing two products with similar nutrient analysis does not indicate the products are equal in ingredients, quality and composition. For example, when a label discloses 0.10% iron and this is added to the blend as a separate component, distribution and plant uptake of iron will likely be limited due to inconsistent distribution.
Purchasing fertilizers solely on cost and claimed nutrient analysis does not warrant a balanced nutritional approach and ensure healthy turf. Fertilizers sold in the market vary drastically depending on blend components and characteristics. Let’s first start with understanding the differences between blends and homogeneous products:
Blends consist of multiple substrate components in a combination of varying nutrients and nutrient forms for feeding the plant. There are well blended products (using minimal substrates with similar densities) and there are poor blended products (using many substrates with vastly different densities). As more components are added to blends, product effectiveness and efficiency suffer.
Fertilizers that contain all claimed nutrients on each particle and greatly increase the consistency of nutrient use efficiency and distribution at each feeding site.
All of Yara’s OptimumTurf products are homogeneous and combined with nutrients that are soluble and readily available to the plant. Often times, Yara OptimumTurf products are viewed as end-user ready products that are used for producing superior results. However, Yara products are capable of being used as blend bases to help enhance product efficiency. Because of these products’ handling characteristics and homogeneous properties, they make the perfect product for blends. Adding products with multiple nutrients on each prill helps eliminate the amount of substrates added while increasing uptake potential of critical nutrients.
Properly blended products are beneficial for turf health and aesthetics. Using homogeneous products like YaraMila® TURF ROYALE® or YaraVera® AMIDAS™TURF helps reduce the amount of inputs needed to achieve a desired analysis. Furthermore, if micronutrients are desired, then a product like YaraVita® PROCOTE™ is an option for increasing consistency and homogenizing the product. YaraVita PROCOTE is an effective way to coat micronutrients on each blended particle for ensuring even distribution and uptake.
Neil Mayberry - Crop Manager, Turf & Ornamental