With manganese being the most commonly deficient trace element in UK soils and potentially impacting on the development, health, quality and yield of arable and vegetable crops, countering deficiencies is a necessity for many farms. John Bird from F D Bird & Sons, tells us how switching to a lower volume product has brought efficiencies in both time and cost.
Treatment of manganese may have moved away from the dusty, hazardous bags of manganese sulphate to more user-friendly liquids but the chemistry of inorganic liquids such as Manganese 15% is inherently inefficient and still demands high application rates to counter deficiencies effectively.
John Bird from F D Bird & Sons is growing cereals on a mixture of soil types ranging from light sands to heavy clay. His land has historically given rise to high levels of manganese deficiency with the sandier land being the worst affected. Having previously used Manganese 15% which as demanding very high application rates, they decided to try Ilex Mn Plus.
Mn Plus is a fully water soluble liquid emulsion with 36% manganese. With its high level of active ingredient in a more plant available form, it can be applied to arable crops at as little as 0.5 litres per hectare and up to 1.5 litres per hectare for severe deficiencies. It is combined with nitrogen and sulphur to assist healthy growth.
“Once you get used to working with a more concentrated solution it is much more practical and easier to use. It’s thicker and more slow-moving but mixes really well once it’s in the tank. This year, an IBC will last us through the season and frankly it is quite refreshing for something to last longer that you expected it to.”
But the benefits are not just practical…
“Having walked the crops a few days after application, you could see they were visibly greener, which could be down to the combination of useful levels of Nitrogen and Sulphur along with the Manganese. We have also achieved a more even healthy growth.”