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Manganese made easy


Crop Solutions That Work

Manganese made easy


By Mark McKerrall, CCA-ON, 4R NMS
Crop Specialist
AGRIS Co-operative – Thamesville

Part of "Bringing You What’s Next” includes looking at new and novel products. The latest product we are testing is from Lucent Biosciences, located in Coquitlam, British Columbia. The product is called Soileos® Manganese. It is manufactured using a unique source of carrier consisting of hulls from pulse crops mixed with manganese sulphate and potassium hydroxide under an extremely high temperature patented process to produce a 100% water-insoluble pellet. This product is a departure from typical fertilizer sources where we want high water solubility to allow fertilizer nutrients to enter into the soil solution for plant uptake.


We know that soil applications of manganese can get tied up in soil reactions involving high pH and high oxygen content in the soil, rendering manganese unavailable for crop uptake. This is why we usually apply manganese as a foliar treatment to avoid soil tie-up.

Manganese is an essential micronutrient and is our most widespread deficient micronutrient in most major row crops and horticulture crops. Manganese is often applied on a foliar basis, and we have farmers asking if there is another way to supply Mn to meet crop needs?

Often, under severe manganese deficiencies in soybeans and wheat, we need to make two or more foliar applications to alleviate the deficiency. Manganese is non-mobile in the plant, and new growth must be treated. We’ve had limited success with banded manganese in starter fertilizers with soybeans, and as a rule, not much fertilizer gets banded with soybeans.

With Soileos being 100% water-insoluble, the only way the Mn will be released from the high carbon carrier is by microbial action. Microbes use carbon as a food source. The greatest amount of microbial activity is next to the plant roots in the Rhizosphere. This area is uniquely different than the bulk soil. The pH can be 0.2 to 1 full pH lower than the bulk soil, which will help with availability. The working theory is that the microbial feeding will release manganese over time in close proximity to the root hairs for plant uptake before oxidation can take place.

Manganese deficient soybeans.jpg

Above: Manganese deficiency in soybean crop.

Wheat May April 26 Wheat Manganese.jpg

Above: Manganese deficiency in wheat crop.

This year, we are performing field trials on soybeans in the spring and on winter wheat this fall. We are doing replicated strips and comparing them to a check and a foliar program. The application rate is 10 pounds per acre, and it must be soil-applied and incorporated.

We look forward to seeing the results and hopefully providing an alternative application method. It is part of a novel, forward-looking nutrition products processing technique incorporating carbon from agricultural byproducts.

For more information on any of the trial work we are currently conducting, please contact your local AGRIS Crop Sales Specialist in your area.

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