What are Water Soluble Fertilizers (WSFs)?

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03 August 2022, US: It is currently believed that two in five of the World’s plant species are at risk of extinction, while just three crops – maize, rice, and wheat, are responsible for 50%of the World’s global food intake.

The global agricultural industry is alert to the challenges of feeding a growing population with limited arable lands, meaning that growers across the spectrum are actively seeking to increase the capacity to produce healthy crops with higher yields.

One of the most vital tools in the modern farmer’s tool kit, Water soluble fertilizers (WSFs), has been around for many years. Water soluble fertilizers are fertilizers that can be dissolved in water and are applied directly to the plant through drip irrigation and foliar application to increase nutrient use efficiency.

The use of drip irrigation significantly reduces nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, compared to other irrigation systems, like furrow or sprinklers. Foliar application, which provides liquid fertilizer directly to the leaves instead of the soil, is a target-oriented approach since nutrients are delivered directly to plant tissues during critical growth stages.

It’s important to note that foliar applications are supplementary, the nutrients that plants can absorb through this application are limited, and they cannot replace soil-fertility programs.

Over the last three years, global demand for WSFs has grown steadily and is expected to return a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% over the next five years and reach $20.64 Bn by 2027.

This vibrant growth has been fueled by a globally increasing demand for environmentally-friendly fertilizers that can significantly improve crop nutrient uptake.

What Does the Modern Farmer Have to Gain by Using Water Soluble Fertilizer?
Using liquid fertilizer has many advantages, with the most glaringly obvious being the lack of need to handle or dilute the material from its purest form.

All that is required is to place a large enough tank in a strategic point in the field to be cultivated and attach a fertilizer injector pre-programmed to release the fertilizer through the irrigation system.

This appears to create an idyllic situation for the grower, with minimal physical handling of the fertilizer required with the injection pump doing most of the calculations.

Water soluble fertilizers allow farmers to easily adjust nutrient concentrations to the plant’s changing needs over their growth cycle.

Working with water soluble fertilizers requires a little more of a hands-on approach. Still, from a professional outlook of extracting maximum value in the shortest time, it is generally regarded as well worth the effort.

Intensive fertilization throughout an entire growing season over a large area can be a costly exercise. Applying fertilizer in a soluble format, next to the root zone of the plant, costs a lot less while producing the same results, if not better.

An experienced irrigator will be aware of the stages to be followed to ensure an even distribution of the fertilizer after it has been diluted and distributed through irrigation. With proper care and attention, even fertilizer distribution can be perfectly synchronized.

The Importance of Water Quality when using Water Soluble Fertilizers.
To achieve maximum results, the irrigator will then be required to make some simple calculations to ensure that, once released into the system, the fertilizer is evenly spread throughout the area during the irrigation span.

With this information, the irrigator will be able to calculate and moderate the vital factor of water pressure differential in which the water pressure at the input and output access to the tank should have a differential of around 10%. This differential will allow the salt to dissolve and flow freely. The difference in input and output pressure can be easily controlled by a simple turn of a tap and a reliable set of pressure gauges.

If correctly calculated and stringently observed, this simple procedure will ensure that the soluble fertilizer will be evenly distributed over extensive areas within predetermined time scales to the highest accuracy levels. When doing these calculations, it’s important to keep in mind that water soluble fertilizers have a set solubility limit, and increasing levels above the manufacturer’s set threshold will not increase fertilizer distribution levels. Results will be achieved irrespective of the irrigation method either drip, sprinkler, or even the massive irrigation pivots used in large-scale open-field cultivation.

What are the Core Components in WSFs?

Water soluble fertilizers are based on the three essential plant macronutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Out of the total of sixteen elements necessary to sustain plant life, N-P-K will always be the leading ingredients of water soluble fertilizers.

With foliar application, N-P-K are considered mobile nutrients and will move upward and downward from the point at which they were taken up and are transported out of the leaves to growing parts with higher demands (i.e. buds, younger leaves, growing roots).

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is a major component of essential structural, genetic, and metabolic compounds in plant cells. It is also a building block for numerous organic compounds including amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes, and chlorophyll.Of all essential nutrients, nitrogen is considered the most critical nutrient for adequate crop growth, development, and yield.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient, both as a component of several key plant structural compounds and as a catalyst in numerous key biochemical reactions in plants. One of the most important roles of phosphorus is capturing and converting the sun’s energy into useful plant compounds.

Potassium

Potassium is the third essential macronutrient for plant growth and development. Plants take up large amounts directly from the soil. Potassium helps plants to increase yields, improve their quality and nutrition value, and enhance the ability of plants to resist diseases, insects, cold and drought stresses, and other adverse conditions. It also helps in the development of a strong and healthy root system and increases the efficiency of the uptake and use of nitrogen and other nutrients.

What are the Principal Benefits of applying WSFs?

Because of the highly accurate levels of distribution that are achieved through water soluble fertilizer, nutrition is applied evenly, both in terms of time and quantity, throughout the entire growth cycle while lowering the potential of damage by salt being dosed in an uneven pattern throughout the cultivated area.

Another added benefit is that applying soluble fertilizers helps to decrease the variation of nutrient concentration in soil.

Other pluses include decreases in levels of fertilizer leaching with a reduction in environmental impact while allowing for accurate application of trace elements, such as boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn) and, zinc (Zn).

These micronutrients, while present in almost minute quantities in the water soluble fertilizers, play a vital part in interacting between the macronutrients (which make up the bulk of fertilizer and are essential to achieve continuous growth) and the healthy growth of plants, even when applied in the most minute of quantities.

With foliar application, micronutrients are considered immobile nutrients, which means that they are only distributed within the leaf and do not undergo considerable translocation to other parts of the plant, unlike macronutrients.

ICL: At the Forefront of the World’s Leading Developers and Manufacturers of Water Soluble Fertilizers
As a World’s leading fertilizer manufacturer, ICL offers a wide choice of liquid and water soluble fertilizers specifically developed to face a variety of challenges in agriculture, public parks and sports arenas, and home gardens large and small.

Amongst our essential products is Micromax®, one of the families of granulated fertilizers from ICL, designed to maximize plant growth by specifically boosting micronutrient levels in the root zone while increasing the efficiency of the major nutrient program.

Micromax’s homogeneous characteristics ensure that every granule comprises a long list of secondary and micronutrient elements for maximum consistency when mixed.

The Agrolution® range from ICL will effectively deliver the correct portion of nutrients to crop gowns and is available in various breakdowns to suit soft or hard water situations.

Known for the purity of its ingredients and all the chelation of its trace elements in the fertilizer, Agrolution is indeed revolutionary, making it an ideal soluble fertilizer for large-scale drip irrigation projects through its ability to almost prevent the buildup of limescale totally in integral drippers allowing for a free flow of water and fertilizer over extensive areas.

For fruit and vegetable growers, especially in a greenhouse environment, Solinure® water soluble fertilizer enjoys a well-earned reputation for consistently providing above-average professional results at a low cost per acre.

Containing all of the macronutrients, as well as a dash of magnesium, Solinure®consistently provides high-performance results in large-scale crop cultivation projects. Solinure® Polymarine is an innovative range of chloride-free, water-soluble N-P-K fertilizers enhanced with seaweed and ideal for all crops.

The seaweed specifically helps plants cope with various stresses, stimulates root development, and promotes vigorous growth at all plant stages.

Recognizing that all crops, climates, and soil conditions combine to form a unique conundrum, the agronomy team at ICL developed the Nova® portfolio of water-soluble fertilizers to meet the nutritional needs of unlimited growing combinations. Taking in eleven products, the Nova portfolio presents a comprehensive solution to fertilizer requirements, backed up by ICL’s global technical support team.

Within the realm of foliar applications, ICL has a new portfolio of innovative, liquid, and water soluble fertilizers: Agroleaf Power, Agroleaf Special, Agroleaf Liquid, Agroleaf Crop, Nutrivant, and a foliar liquid range from Fuentes. Farmers need to match the ICL products’ formula according to the quality of the water, as they’re designed for both hard and soft water qualities.

While liquid fertilizers lend themselves to smaller-scale projects in orchards, open fields, and greenhouses, water soluble fertilizers generally come into their own in large-scale field crop cultivation projects over a short growing span or when applying turf fertilizers in public gardens and sports arenas where consistent coverage is essential.

No matter the challenges, ICL fertilizers will be up for it while always observing the highest levels of sustainability and preserving the environment.

What are the Principal Benefits of applying WSFs?

Because of the highly accurate levels of distribution that are achieved through water soluble fertilizer, nutrition is applied evenly, both in terms of time and quantity, throughout the entire growth cycle while lowering the potential of damage by salt being dosed in an uneven pattern throughout the cultivated area.

Another added benefit is that applying soluble fertilizers helps to decrease the variation of nutrient concentration in soil.

Other pluses include decreases in levels of fertilizer leaching with a reduction in environmental impact while allowing for accurate application of trace elements, such as boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn) and, zinc (Zn).

These micronutrients, while present in almost minute quantities in the water soluble fertilizers, play a vital part in interacting between the macronutrients (which make up the bulk of fertilizer and are essential to achieve continuous growth) and the healthy growth of plants, even when applied in the most minute of quantities.

With foliar application, micronutrients are considered immobile nutrients, which means that they are only distributed within the leaf and do not undergo considerable translocation to other parts of the plant, unlike macronutrients.

ICL: At the Forefront of the World’s Leading Developers and Manufacturers of Water Soluble Fertilizers
As a World’s leading fertilizer manufacturer, ICL offers a wide choice of liquid and water soluble fertilizers specifically developed to face a variety of challenges in agriculture, public parks and sports arenas, and home gardens large and small.

Amongst our essential products is Micromax®, one of the families of granulated fertilizers from ICL, designed to maximize plant growth by specifically boosting micronutrient levels in the root zone while increasing the efficiency of the major nutrient program.

Micromax’s homogeneous characteristics ensure that every granule comprises a long list of secondary and micronutrient elements for maximum consistency when mixed.

The Agrolution® range from ICL will effectively deliver the correct portion of nutrients to crop gowns and is available in various breakdowns to suit soft or hard water situations.

Known for the purity of its ingredients and all the chelation of its trace elements in the fertilizer, Agrolution is indeed revolutionary, making it an ideal soluble fertilizer for large-scale drip irrigation projects through its ability to almost prevent the buildup of limescale totally in integral drippers allowing for a free flow of water and fertilizer over extensive areas.

For fruit and vegetable growers, especially in a greenhouse environment, Solinure® water soluble fertilizer enjoys a well-earned reputation for consistently providing above-average professional results at a low cost per acre.

Containing all of the macronutrients, as well as a dash of magnesium, Solinure®consistently provides high-performance results in large-scale crop cultivation projects. Solinure® Polymarine is an innovative range of chloride-free, water-soluble N-P-K fertilizers enhanced with seaweed and ideal for all crops.

The seaweed specifically helps plants cope with various stresses, stimulates root development, and promotes vigorous growth at all plant stages.

Recognizing that all crops, climates, and soil conditions combine to form a unique conundrum, the agronomy team at ICL developed the Nova® portfolio of water-soluble fertilizers to meet the nutritional needs of unlimited growing combinations. Taking in eleven products, the Nova portfolio presents a comprehensive solution to fertilizer requirements, backed up by ICL’s global technical support team.

Within the realm of foliar applications, ICL has a new portfolio of innovative, liquid, and water soluble fertilizers: Agroleaf Power, Agroleaf Special, Agroleaf Liquid, Agroleaf Crop, Nutrivant, and a foliar liquid range from Fuentes. Farmers need to match the ICL products’ formula according to the quality of the water, as they’re designed for both hard and soft water qualities.

While liquid fertilizers lend themselves to smaller-scale projects in orchards, open fields, and greenhouses, water soluble fertilizers generally come into their own in large-scale field crop cultivation projects over a short growing span or when applying turf fertilizers in public gardens and sports arenas where consistent coverage is essential.

No matter the challenges, ICL fertilizers will be up for it while always observing the highest levels of sustainability and preserving the environment.

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