Zeolite In Agriculture
Zeolite has been used in agriculture for decades around the world but is just recently being recognized in Malaysia as a profitable and responsible addition to many current agricultural practices. Farmers in Japan have been using zeolite since 1965 as a dietary supplement for livestock and as a soil amendment for sandy, clay poor soils. Bulgaria was home to the first artificial soil using zeolite in the late 1970’s, Italians use zeolite to exterminate aphids in fruit trees and NASA even uses zeolite as a growing medium in space. Apparently zeolite can also be use for pollution control, mining, stock feeds, aquaculture, turf and vermiculture.
Zeolite (Agrolite and Zeoplus) is an amazing natural mineral because of its extraordinary ability to absorb, hold, release, and exchange different chemicals, nutrients, toxins and ions according to need. Zeolite sold by our company is a naturally occurring hydrated sodium potassium calcium alumino silicate (of the subtype clinoptilolite) which was formed from the glass component of volcanic ash millions of years ago. We own the top quality 300 million year old zeolite deposit with inferred resources of many millions metric ton reserves in Sukabumi, Indonesia.
Zeolite is a mineral with infinite, three-dimensional, honeycomb like channels that allow it to lose and gain water reversibly. Zeolite is also negatively charged (anionic) by nature that makes it attract certain positively charged ions (cations) like nutrients, heavy metals and offensive odors on a molecular level. A high CEC (cation exchange capacity) is why Agrolite and Zeoplus is one of the best agricultural zeolites available in the world.
Zeolite is a natural super porous mineral. It carries a negative charge balanced by freely moving cations with positive charges. this provides an ideal trap for positive cations like nitrogen rich ammonium and potassium which are then released when demanded by plants. Zeolites have a very open framework with a network of pores giving it a large surface area for trapping and exchanging valuable nutrients.
With the current high price of chemical fertilizers zeolite can be used to extend their efficiency and performance. Blending fertilizer with zeolite can produce the same yield from less fertilizer applied because of the reduction of volatilization and leaching losses. It is particularly suitable for banding under drip irrigation planting where it will assist water infiltration, distribution and retention. When fertigation is practiced it will actively hold the nutrients in the root zone. Zeolite can hold nutrients in the root zone for plants to use when required. This leads to more efficient use of N and K fertilizers – either less fertilizer for the same yield or the same amount of fertilizer lasting longer and producing higher yields.
An added benefit of zeolite application is that unlike other soil amendments (gypsum and lime) it does not break down over time but remains in the soil to help improve nutrient and water retention permanently. With subsequent applications the zeolite will further improve the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and produce improved yields. Furthermore, zeolite is not acidic. In fact it is marginally alkaline and its use with fertilizers can help buffer soil pH levels thus reducing the need for lime applications.
Zeolite can also assists water infiltration and retention in the soil due to its very porous properties and the capillary suction it exerts. Acting as a natural wetting agent, it is an excellent amendment for non wetting sands and to assist water distribution through soils.
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