Iron is key in many processes within the plant, but especially: chlorophyll formation, respiratory processes, cell division, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and many more.

The type of chelation that you use in your soil applications can make a big difference. The chelation process essentially adds a chelating agent that protects the metal ion (in this case iron) from being captured and immobilized in the soil.

The two most recognized forms of chelation are EDTA and EDDHA. EDTA chelation is probably the most widely recognized form, and because of its lower cost processing and raw material demands, it’s typically also the lower priced version. These factors have put this form of chelation at the forefront of most agronomists and growers’ minds for several years.

But what do you do when you’ve been fighting to correct a deficiency for years in your ground, and you’ve gotten to a point where you feel like you just keep putting on a band aid season after season, not really addressing the issue?

It may be time for you to consider switching to an EDDHA chelated micro nutrient. When looking for an EDDHA chelated micro, it’s important to know what you are looking for. An Ortho-Ortho bonded EDDHA micro is generally considered to be the best option. It has a total of 6 covalent bonding points on the metal ion, which is two more points than the other bonding formation (known as Ortho-Para) and more bonding points than EDTA.

This type of bonding allows a EDDHA chelated iron to remain available for plant uptake in a soil pH range of 2-11, whereas EDTA chelated iron is available in a pH range of 3-6. It is important to note that, it is becoming more and more evident in studies that there is a limitation in performance of the other EDTA micronutrients in pH levels above 7.

This bonding also plays a key role in helping the micro-nutrient remain “friendly” in the tank with other fertilizers and chemicals. The best explanation I’ve ever heard, came from an agronomist friend of mine. He said, “EDTA is like leather armor, EDDHA is more like steel armor. If I’m storming a castle, I’d prefer the steel armor.”

EDDHA chelated micros are available in a wide range of liquid products that make life much easier since they require no pre-mixing, cutting down on labor and disposal of bags. They blend with a majority of NPK applications as well.

GAR Bennett works with industry leaders in EDDHA chelation, and your GAR Bennett PCA is ready to talk to you about how switching to high quality, easy blending EDDHA chelated micro-nutrients could make sense in your operation.