Fortification of Micronutrients for Efficient Agronomic Production

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A recent VFRC review article shows that micronutrients (copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, zinc, boron and chlorine) can be used as a one-stop shop for enhancing crop nutritional quality, yield, biomass production and resiliency to drought, pest and diseases. These positive effects can be observed with or without NPK fertilization. The article discusses the uptake by plants of micronutrients as tiny (nano and micro-size) particulate materials, coined “micnobits,” relative to their conventional uptake in ionic forms. Packaging of micronutrients as micnobits was shown to have profound effects on crop responses and fertilizer use efficiency compared to conventional salts or bulk oxides, and to create alternative nutrient delivery strategies to plants such as uptake through above ground parts.

Citation: Dimkpa, C. and P.S. Bindraban, 2016. Micronutrients fortification for efficient agronomic production. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. In press. DOI 10.1007/s13593-015-0346-6

How Selenium Helps to Improve Human Health

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The global importance of selenium (Se) deficiency to human and animal health has been recognized for decades, but strategic Se fertilization interventions were lacking. Our meta-analysis approach based on 243 experiments performed during 1960 to 2014 confirms the high impact of Se-fertilization as an effective agronomic bio-fortification strategy.  Fertilizer formulation, dose and timing affect crop Se uptake, with highest uptake efficiencies for foliar and selenate based fertilizers. Minor influence of soil organic matter, total soil Se levels and acidity suggests that other agroecosystem properties like climate and bioavailable Se should be considered to optimize Se-fertilization. Tailor-made strategies are essential to combat the current low recoveries and the scarce resource availability.

Citation: Ros, G. H., A. M. D. van Rotterdam, D. W. Bussink & P. S. Bindraban, 2016. Selenium fertilization strategies for bio-fortification of food: an agro-ecosystem approach. Plant Soil. DOI 10.1007/s11104-016-2830-4.