A new multi-nutrient fertiliser is to be launched in the UK and Ireland during April, 2019, which provides zinc and manganese, together with potassium and sulphur, in liquid form.

Uniquely, the zinc and manganese content is extracted from used alkaline batteries through a special process developed by Finnish manufacturer, Tracegrow. It is thought to be the only process that can produce zinc and manganese from this source to the necessary purity for fertilisers.

“The result is a highly flexible liquid fertiliser containing key nutrients for a wide variety of crops,” said David Harrod, owner of UK importers, Badger Crop Nutrition. “Because of its liquid form and foliar application it can be a handy tank-mix partner for products like pyraclostrobin fungicide (Comet), florasulam/fluroxypyr (Starane XL) herbicide or various growth regulators, to name a few.”

While zinc deficiency is seen in 10-15% of UK field crops, often on sandy soils with both a high pH and phosphate status, manganese is the most common micronutrient deficiency. Sugar beet, cereals and, in particular, barley, are all prone, especially on high pH soils. The recommendation is to have soils tested before deciding on timing and concentration levels.

ZM-Grow is diluted from a concentrate and normally applied between February and June. Depending on crop type and requirements, and agronomists’ recommendations, 2-3 litres of concentrate are recommended per ha, delivering 120-180g of zinc per ha and 124-186g of manganese, as well as 156-234g of sulphur.

Trials using 3 litres/ha in Finland in 2017 produced a 350kg/ha increase in wheat yield and 900kg/ha in barley from a single application. Because of its source material, it is certified as an organic fertiliser by OF and G Organics.

Badger Crop Nutrition is ZM-Grow’s sole UK and Ireland distributor, and it will be available through their UK partner distributors and farmer groups.