Micronutrients Have a Macro Impact

Steven Beckley

Steven Beckley

The micronutrient industry faces many challenges and opportunities entering 2016, and those of us at the Micronutrient Manufacturers Association (MMA) believe that by working with members of the industry, we can meet them. It is the association’s goal to increase the use of micronutrient fertilizer, which plays a vital role in fertilizer efficiency.

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The 2016 cropping year will be a challenge as the market for corn and soybean could soften. Growers will likely make planting decisions that reduce financial input costs. It is our goal to educate them and their crop advisers about how critical soil testing and micronutrients are to a total plant nutrition program. Today’s high-yield crops remove large amounts of nutrients from the ground, and they must be replaced. The need for a balanced nutrition program remains no matter what the market is for commodities.

Our members help growers develop those programs. We promote the industry and provide learning opportunities. Here are a few examples: MMA provides educational opportunities through online courses for Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) to educate them on the various micronutrients. Courses on zinc, boron, copper, and iron are online now. These courses allow CCAs to learn the basics regarding these nutrients and receive continuing education units.

A challenge many of our members face when selling micronutrients is the lack of a uniform fertilizer law. Our association works closely with the American Association of Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) to communicate industry issues and concerns.

MMA recently started a joint project with Green Markets, a Bloomberg BNA business, to determine the total use of micronutrients for fertilizer in the U.S. We’ll get feedback from both our members and non-members.

Cooperation with other industry associations is critical to our success as micronutrients do not stand alone, but are an important part of a total plant nutrition program. We work closely with The Fertilizer Institute and are supporters of the Nutrients for Life Foundation and 4R Stewardship program.

About the MMA
The Micronutrient Manufacturers Association was formed in 2009 to represent manufacturers and formulators of products that provide micronutrients that are essential for plant growth. Active membership is open to firms that are manufacturers and/or formulators of micronutrients. Associate membership is available to individuals and businesses that do not qualify for active membership but support the purposes of the association.
The purpose of the association is to promote, educate, and sponsor research on the agronomic use of micronutrients. MMA also engages in legislative and regulatory activities and facilitates industry communications.

Officers:
Joel Bzura, Old Bridge Chemicals, Chairman
Paul Fink, U. S. Borax, Vice Chairman
Dale Edgington, Advanced Micronutrient Products, Secretary/Treasurer
Steve Beckley, S. Beckley and Associates, President/Administrator

Board of Directors:
John Bowen, Cameron Chemical
Richard Camp, Kronos Micronutrients
Paul Reising, Compass Minerals
Jim Scott, Winfield Solutions