With multi-crop applications and global distribution, Canadian-founded NutriAg Ltd. has developed a product line of foliar nutrients, bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides that are delivering positive responses in the North American onion industry.
According to Andrew Schenk, Boise-based Strategic Account Manager for NutriAg USA, the company’s Max™ line of chelated micronutrients and the Plant Activator Line with ACE™ technology (Active Cell Elicitor) have shown quantifiable results. In 2016 field trials conducted in Mexico of the ACE Alexin, which mitigates environmental issues such as heat and drought, NutriAg fields fared better than fields treated with other products.
“Our Max line of micronutrients is extraordinary in that the elements are chelated with very small aldose sugars (PolyAldoCarbosate or PAC™) derived from plant extracts” Schenk said. “This is enhanced efficiency crop nutrition, providing essential nutrients in true solutions to the crops at critical points in production.”
While the products can be used to benefit virtually all crops, Schenk said the spray applications of Max and Plant Activator products are particularly suited to onions.
“The majority of our products are liquids, and are generally applied with some form of crop protection, although they can be applied alone as well, or in combination with one another.
The Max line with PAC is truly unique. The chelation with plant sugars in itself is extraordinary, and when they are mixed with other nutrients and crop protection chemistries, they are able to stay in a true solution, which is extremely important because the nutrients don’t react with other elements in the stock tank solution which leads to unsurpassed compatibility. Due to their extremely small size, these are rapidly taken into the plant through polar pores. This is important, because it maximizes efficiency, reduces rates, and has unparalleled saftey.”
He continued, “Alexin with ACE technology works well on different types of abiotic stresses.” Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen that comes with excess water “essentially drowns the roots,” and periods of high heat and drought, “although very different conditions, end up affecting plant cells in a similar manner, which is an onslaught of reactive oxygen species that damage the cells and everything inside of them.”
Alexin works to protect and help crops recover from those and other situations by “triggering various stress relief processes within the plant.”
As the company, founded by agronomist Dr. Jonah Fisher in the early 1960s and established in Toronto in 1993, moves forward with its global reach, Schenk said the operation’s research and development team stays on point with continued development of new innovative bio-pesticides and fertilizers. Organic versions of the product line are expanding in 2017 and will deliver the same safe, compatible, and proven expectations for organic growers.
“In addition to our full line of organic foliar products, we expect an organic version of our Alexin product will be released in 2018,” Schenk said.
As the new products are introduced, NutriAg USA is seeing continued growth as well. “Right now we are expanding into the Pacific Northwest, Northeast and Southeast,” Schenk said. “We think as growers look for an edge in production above and beyond their current nutrition programs, our product usage will grow in the onion industry.”
Schenk weighed in on overarching issues that affect not only the onion industry but also the entire domestic ag industry.
“Regulations, particularly in water and nutrient usage,” continue to be areas of focus, he said. “Growers will be looking for ways to maintain and increase yields, and that will mean utilizing maximum efficiencies in nutrient use as well as stress reduction. This will also include a change in how tissue tests are utilized, focusing instead of yield histories of fields, accumulating data from the best yielding fields and focusing on the specific nutrients that enabled them.”
For more information on NutriAg line of products and contacts, visit the website at