FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF SILICON FOR AGRICULTURE?
Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust, second only to oxygen. In tropical and subtropical soils, silicon is often not in a readily available form for plants.
The use of soluble sources of silicon in agriculture has been gaining momentum due to its positive results and being a clean technology, aligning with the current vision of sustainable agriculture, utilizing it as an option for integrated management.
It is considered a beneficial element, assisting in plant development and enhancing the assimilation of essential elements. Silicon is important for the normal growth and development of plants.
WHAT IS PRNT?
PRNT (Relative Power of Total Neutralization) is an indicator of reactivity that defines how much the amendment reacts in three months when incorporated into the soil under adequate water availability. Thus, if the PRNT is 80%, it can be inferred that, in general, 80% of the limestone will react in the soil within three months, and the remaining 20% will react later.
Therefore, the higher the PRNT, the greater the short-term effect, and the lower the residual effect. PRNT fundamentally depends on reactivity (RE) and neutralization power (PN). RE is the relative efficiency of particles by particle size class. PN indicates the ability of the amendment to neutralize soil acidity.
AgroSilício Plus is registered as a simple mineral fertilizer, a source of silicon, calcium, and magnesium, with excellent physical and chemical properties in the soil, including acidity correction. It has an estimated PRNT of 85%. It's worth noting that during the fusion and cooling processes that steel industry residues undergo to obtain steel or iron, silicate materials are formed, which have a porous structure with a larger specific surface area, resulting in greater particle dissolution and a faster reaction rate.
As a result, AgroSilício has another positive attribute when compared to other amendments like limestone. However, it's important to note that current regulations for amendments do not consider specific surface area.
DO ALL SILICON SOURCES CORRECT SOIL?
In the agricultural market, there are various products sold as a source of silicon. However, they need to contain a "neutralizing constituent" such as oxides, hydroxides, carbonates, and calcium and/or magnesium silicates.
This is the case with AgroSilício Plus, which contains calcium and magnesium silicate in its composition, having a high corrective power.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES AND ADVANTAGES OBSERVED WITH THE USE OF AGROSILÍCIO AS A SOIL CORRECTOR COMPARED TO LIMESTONE?
During the soil reaction process, limestone releases carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the agents responsible for the greenhouse effect. AgroSilício, on the other hand, does not release CO2, making it a product that aligns with environmental sustainability ideals.
Limestone and AgroSilício differ in terms of specific surface area (contact area). The corrective power of AgroSilício can be superior due to the porous nature of its particles, which results in a larger specific surface area and theoretically greater reactivity and solubility in the soil, percolating through the soil profile more easily than limestone.
Therefore, AgroSilício excels in its corrective effect and, additionally, contains silicon in its composition, contributing to plant resistance and improved plant structure, making it a more comprehensive product.
DOES AGROSILÍCIO INCREASE PHOSPHORUS AVAILABILITY IN THE SOIL?
Studies have shown that the application of silicates like AgroSilício increases the availability of silicon in the soil solution in the form of monosilicic acid (H4SiO4). This is the only inorganic ion with a higher affinity for iron and aluminum oxides, competing for the same adsorption sites and potentially releasing retained phosphorus into the soil solution. Therefore, applying AgroSilício before or together with phosphate fertilization can block fixation charges (adsorption sites), significantly increasing phosphate fertilization efficiency.
Thus, it can be inferred that the use of AgroSilício can enhance phosphate fertilization efficiency over the years, reducing phosphorus application and consequently lowering production costs, as phosphorus is considered the most valuable nutrient in the market.