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Unlocking Phosphorus in Your Soil

Across the board, fertilizer prices are higher in 2021. While nitrogen often gets the most attention, phosphorus prices are up the most.

While fertilizer prices are higher, it’s important to remember the context. Prices are up from historic lows and, for the most part, remain well below the levels of 2011-2014. The exception, however, is phosphorus fertilizer. In many ways, phosphorus is the biggest chapter of the 2021 fertilizer story...

We have a solution.

AdvancedAg and P Availability

Well before the increase in fertilizer costs, we have had an influx of producers come to AdvancedAg looking for alternative options to feed their crops. Something to "balance" the scales a bit, instead of relying so heavily on synthetic fertilizers. A way to access what's already in their soil.

It is well known, through various sources of academia over the last 2 decades, that P solubilization occurs largely through bacteria/fungi interactions with the plant.

Although each acre of soil could have hundreds, or thousands of pounds of P, hardly any of it is in a plant available form. Plants obtain their P from the soil solution in the form of dihydrogen phosphate/hydrogen phosphate, or ionic forms of orthophosphate.

The problem with applying P every year is that a large fraction of plant available, inorganic P (applied as chemical fertilizer) is immobilized rapidly and becomes unavailable to plants.

In our consortium of bacteria (ACF-SR), many species of bacteria are extremely efficient at solubilizing P. No wonder many of our clients have successfully cut back their fertilizer rates.

According to Biotechnology Advances 17 (1999) 319–339 - Pseudomonas and Bacillus are among the most powerful phosphate solubilizers.

As you may or may not know, 2 of the species of bacteria in ACF-SR are Bacillus species (Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis), cultured in a way so that they are extremely efficient at solubilizing P.

We also have a Rhodopseudomonas palustris species and 2 nitrifying species (Nitrobacter winogradskyi, Nitrosomonas europaea) that are huge players in the P solubilization equation.

Designed Into ACF Products

It's not just adding the species that make ACF-SR so incredible at solubilizing P. It's how we create ACF-SR that separates AdvancedAg from many other similar products.

Here's how we do it:

Isolating and maintaining P solubilization in ACF bacteria is key to product efficacy:

Note the zones of clearing on this plate of tricalcium phosphate (unavailable form of P). The white spot in the middle is our Bacillus subtilis species. The radius of zones of clearing is directly proportional to P solubilizing capability. The clear section is orthophosphate (the plant available form of P).

This is how our bacteria are cultured before going into a bottle, to ensure the RIGHT functions are built in. We know P solubilization will occur once applied to the field.

The ongoing program of isolating based on P solubilization, regrowing, isolating, regrowing, maximizes and ensures P solubilization activity of ACF cultures.

Synergy in our formulas to optimize P solubilization

Nitrifying bacteria ALSO solubilize P, but only when free ammonia is present.

Bacillus subtilis and licheniformis in AdvancedAg formulas produce the hydrolytic enzymes needed to break down complex organic compounds. In this process, ammonia is released.

By liberating ammonia from organic compounds in the soil, Bacillus allows nitrifying bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrate. This is what MUST occur for nitrifiers to help in solubilization.

The synergy between the various microbes in AdvancedAg formulas allows for optimal P solubilization, which is extremely important in all soils, but especially alkaline soils.

The farmer above has a lot to smile about, having a potato crop grow on alkali land that for years, never produced anything - all because of our P solubilizing bacteria.

Add this biotechnology to AdvancedAg's BrewTus system, and you have a super concentrated dose of bacteria that are ready to unlock P that has been sitting in your soil for a very, very long time.

Above - BrewTus location in Scandia, AB (Independent Crop Inputs)

Have a listen to our Head Scientist talk about the above, in more detail:

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