ZM-Grow, a new award-winning multi-nutrient fertiliser, has been launched in the UK and Ireland, providing 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 manufacturers 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,” says owner of UK importer and distributor Badger Crop Nutrition, David Harrod. “And because of its liquid form and foliar application it can be a handy tank-mix partner for products like fungicide Comet (pyraclostrobin), herbicide Starane XL (florasulam + fluroxypyr) or various growth regulators, to name a few.”
While zinc deficiency is seen in 10–15 per cent 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 – in particular barley – and peas are all prone, especially on high pH soils. Tracegrow recommends testing soils or crop leaves before deciding on timing and concentration levels.
ZM-Grow is diluted from a concentrate, and normally applied between February–June. Depending on crop type and requirements, and agronomists’ recommendations, 2-3 litres/ha of concentrate is recommended, delivering 120-180g/ha of zinc and 124-186g of manganese, as well as 156-234g sulphur.
Trials using 3-litres/ha in Västarkvarn, Finland in 2017 produced a 0.35t/ha increase in wheat yield and 0.9t/ha in barley from a single application.
Because of its source material, it is certified as an organic fertiliser by OF&G.