New Tool Helps Growers Improve Phosphorus Efficiency
A nutrient use efficiency technology from Verdesian Life Sciences that increases the availability of phosphorus (P) for plant uptake by up to 45% in field trials has a new formulation and is now available to growers for a wide range of specialty crops. Increased P uptake by these crops translates into a host of benefits, according to, including faster early growth, improved plant performance, stress mitigation, higher produce quality, and increased yields.
“Verdesian Life Sciences is committed to providing innovative nutrient use efficiency technologies for specialty growers as well as broad acre crops,” Kenny Avery, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, says. “AVAIL HV is an extension of the proven AVAIL technology that answers the challenge of phosphorus efficiency in specialty crops.”
Growers have used AVAIL technology successfully for a decade on more than 72 million acres of both commodity and specialty crops in other areas of the U.S. AVAIL HV Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer is a proprietary formulation specifically designed for high-volume applications on specialty crops. AVAIL HV uses patented polymer technology to put a protective shield around applied P, making it much less susceptible to fixation and more available for plant uptake.
“AVAIL technology and AVAIL Liquid have historically performed well on high volume P applications with strong supporting data. However, the economics have been out of reach for many producers” Steve Green, Director of Ag Wholesale Specialty Business for Simplot ONE, says. “AVAIL HV Liquid will provide producers the opportunity to protect their fertilizer investments in these high-volume applications on potatoes, onions, sugar beets, vegetables crops, citrus crops, and many other specialty crops.”
P fixation is a major challenge to growers, and AVAIL HV helps growers address P fixation in the soil. The negatively charged P reacts with positively charged elements such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and aluminum. This reaction fixes the P, rendering it unavailable for plant uptake. As a rule, less than 40% of applied P is actually taken up by plants during the growing season, making that nutrient application highly inefficient.
According to Todd Carpenter, technical development manager for Verdesian Life Sciences, 60% to 95% of the P fertilizer you apply this year will not be used by this year’s crop, and no one can predict when the fixed P might become available. AVAIL HV is specially formulated for use with high-volume applications of liquid fertilizers that are common in specialty crop production, with a higher concentration of active ingredient. Research and field trials have shown that AVAIL HV helps make up to 45% of applied P more available to the plant.
“A lot of specialty crops are produced in areas with pH challenges or poor quality water. These conditions can result in poor P efficiency due to greater potential for fixation,” Carpenter says. “The abundance of free calcium in these soils make them especially susceptible to phosphorus fixation.”
AVAIL HV is now available to growers in Idaho, California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Oregon, and a handful of other states where much of the nation’s potatoes, stone and fruit tree crops, row vegetables, nuts, and small-seeded fruits are grown.
More P in the plant means less P is left in the soil and subject to offsite movement via soil erosion into sensitive areas and waterways. The result of more efficient use also translates to better stewardship of the local environment and P as a limited resource. California and Florida specifically are renowned in agricultural circles for having strong environmental awareness and strict regulatory systems – some of the strictest environmental regulations affecting agriculture throughout the entire country.
“Maximizing nutrient use efficiency in challenging environmental and regulatory environments is critical,” said Carpenter. “AVAIL HV helps improve P use efficiency, which translates into more P in the crop and less potential loss to the environment.”