Each day, farmers worldwide are faced with tough questions: How can higher quantities of food be produced for a growing population? How can depleted soil be rejuvenated for reuse? What farming methods can we implement to keep our business sustainable?

December 2018

Nouryon’s team of agronomists dedicate their careers to finding answers to these kinds of questions. In a world with a rapidly increasing population and decreasing amount of fertile land, their innovative solutions for sustainable farming are more valuable than ever.

What exactly is agronomy?

In short, it’s the study and expertise of soil management and crop production. Nouryon’s agronomists serve as global experts making use of cutting-edge fertilization techniques that create fruitful harvests in areas with poor soils once deemed unusable. They travel to the world’s most remote places to teach customers and other partners how to make use of micronutrients in helping transform poor, depleted soil into rich, reusable land. Micronutrients are nutrients for plants only needed in small quantities, but indispensable for growth and quality of the crop.

Population growth and climate change are putting an increasing strain on food production by the world’s farms. Therefore, optimization of crop growth, both in quantity and quality, is essential, and here micronutrients play an important role. The need for micronutrient fertilizers is growing rapidly: market demand is projected to grow by 8.6% annually and will reach $8.8 billion by 2022, according to a study by MarketsandMarkets.

How do Nouryon’s micronutrients work?

A chelating agent called ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid allows iron — a generally insoluble compound — to dissolve in water and thus be absorbed by plants, eliminating the need for soil and enabling plants to thrive in fully aqueous, or hydroponic, cultures. When used in the form of micronutrient fertilizers, the same technique can offer a crucial boost for soil depleted of essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese, and copper.

Advances in hydroponic farming have learned also to grow certain plants in soils that would otherwise be unfit due to lack of nutrients or soils with high pH levels which impede nutrient absorption. For example, Nouryon’s chelated, water-soluble micronutrients can be used in drip irrigation systems for “fertigation” — simultaneous fertilization and irrigation — which enables optimal nutrient absorption resulting in better yields with less water, and significantly reduced losses of elements like zinc and copper into the environment.

This method is currently being used among others for the cultivation of grapes in dryer parts of South America where high pH soils prevail. The dry climatic conditions are beneficial for the quality of the grapes, but the soil’s high pH makes it hard for plants to get the nutrients they need. Fertigation using Nouryon’s chelated micronutrients allows farmers to grow large, juicy grapes on land that wasn’t suitable before.

Nouryon’s agronomy experts work with leading fertilizer brands, as well as with distributors and agronomist teams worldwide, to provide valuable micronutrient training that can then be passed on to individual farmers.

As the global leader in chelated micronutrients, Nouryon sees fertigation using chelated micronutrients in soils and hydroponics as a crucial factor in the long-term sustainability of farming.

About Nouryon

Nouryon is a global, specialty chemicals leader. Markets and consumers worldwide rely on our essential solutions to manufacture everyday products, such as personal care, cleaning goods, paints and coatings, agriculture and food, pharmaceuticals, and building products. Furthermore, the dedication of approximately 8,200 employees with a shared commitment to our customers, business growth, safety, sustainability and innovation has resulted in a consistently strong financial performance. We operate in over 80 countries around the world with a portfolio of industry-leading brands.

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