The unique ShuttleTM chelation system continues to grow in popularity ten years after it was originally introduced to the Australian marketplace. There are a number of features which differentiate this nutrient delivery system from other forms of chelation including the following:
In conventional chelation, the chelating agent enters the plant along with the desired mineral, where it becomes an alien presence within the plant. The plant must then waste energy in the process of detoxing the chelating agent. It is also possible for the chemical chelator to complex other minerals within the plant inducing a deficit (if the other mineral is already quite low).
And Now For Something
In contrast, ShuttleTM chelation is quite different. The shuttle ligand never actually enters the plant. The minerals are sequestered within a nano cluster from which the shuttle ligand draws its cargo. The ligand latches on to the positively charged mineral and is then attracted to the negatively charged leaf surface like a nail to a magnet. The ShuttleTM agent, with it’s mineral cargo, docks alongside the leaf and through a process called thermal vibration, the mineral is deposited into the leaf. The shuttle ligand, now missing the positively charged mineral that restrained it at the leaf surface, is attracted back toward the nanocluster of minerals where it attaches on to another mineral ion and returns to the leaf surface. This process is repeated time and time again until the minerals have all been successfully delivered. At this point the shuttle ligand becomes a microbial food source. If the ShuttleTM chelate has been applied to the soil, rather than applied as a foliar, then the shuttle ligand can continue its mineral delivery beyond the original mineral cargo. Research has shown considerable ongoing enhancement of cation availability in the soil until the ShuttleTM agent has been consumed by soil microbes. In biologically inactive soils the ShuttleTM agent has remained operational for over 12 months.
What the Growers Think
Our horticulture growers claim they get a superior response with our ShuttleTM products even though they have a similar analysis to other chelating products. This is because of a very efficient delivery system, where all of the minerals are utilised. It is also linked to a lack of negatives, like the induced deficiencies which can be an unwanted side-effect of conventional chelation.
The ShuttleTM products include groupings of some of the minerals most often missing in the most appropriate ratios, i.e. Tri-ShuttleTM (ZIM), (CBZ) and (BIZ). Shuttle SevenTM has become one of the most successful products in 35 countries because it can be applied proactively every couple of weeks to ensure excellent trace mineral management.### Two Big Differences
It is common, when other minerals are marginal within the plant, for a chelated product to induce a deficiency of another mineral. This is not the case with the ShuttleTM range because we have included “background nutrition” in all of our formulations. So, all other minerals are addressed each time a single ShuttleTM chelate is applied.
However, the most important factor that differentiates ShuttleTM chelation from all other nutrient delivery systems is the fact that the nutrient can effectively enter any part of the plant and is not dependent upon uptake via the stomata. A cardinal rule of foliar fertilising is to direct the spray to the underside of the leaf, as this is where the majority of the breathing pores called stomates are situated. These little mouths, which can open up to seven times their normal size when stimulated, are really there to suck up CO2 as it diffuses out of the soil. However, they can also serve as obvious entry points for foliar nutrition. It can prove a stumbling block for crops like pasture, for example, to successfully direct the foliar spray under the leaf. The ShuttleTM system becomes far more versatile, in this context, because the nutrients can be delivered, via thermal vibration, to any part of the plant including the stem, leaf or root.
Thermal vibration involves the action of something called London-VanderWaal forces, where the constant pulsing of the cellulose plant surface synchronises with the thrusting action of the magnetically driven nutrient. When the plant surface pulses open for a split second the cation is deposited and the ShuttleTM chelator moves back to the holding pen to pick up another delivery. In this manner we have the first ever delivery of nutrients that can be absorbed through any plant surface.