A new phosphate ‘optimiser’ imported from Agrotech in the US, has been shown to increase yields of both seed potatoes and carrots during last year’s water deficit through the main growing months.

Trial results across three fields of potatoes showed an increase in tuber numbers by more than 10%, with a yield increase of 7.7%. On a 50-tonne/ha yield, the ‘extra’ yield was 3.85 tonnes against a spend of £15/ha.

In a carrot trial, carrot numbers increased by 23%, with a yield increase of 1.6%, which, on an 80-tonne/ha crop added 1.3t/ha to the bottom line. The extra spend for that trial was £5/ha. It also increased the numbers more suited to packing, whereas the control showed much bigger carrots that would have to have been processed.

Glasson Fertilisers – which has a base in Montrose – is now importing the product, Nutricharge, from the US and is using it on both diammonium phosphate (DAP), 18 – 46, or to triple super-phosphate (TSP). The product is either sprayed on granular fertilisers or tank mixed with liquid versions.

Phosphorus is not considered to be that mobile in the soil – maybe 0.2mm/week – and it has a negative charge, according to Glasson’s Bill Petrie. “It is well documented that up to 90% of applied P can get locked up by the positively charged elements, calcium and magnesium on higher pH soil and aluminium and iron on a lower soil pH. NutriCharge is able to keep more phosphate available to the plant when it needs it most by sequestering the positively charged calcium, aluminum and iron preventing them from tie-up with phosphate.”