03 Apr What is Fortalis?
What is in Fortalis, actually?
Plant Impact’s FortalisTM for soybeans, cotton, peanuts, and alfalfa is a product that acts as a crop enhancer by mobilizing calcium. It improves yields by enhancing the movement of calcium. Growers apply it over the top at early reproductive stages alone or with a fungicide, nutritional product, and/or insecticide. I refer to it as a calcium modulator and described its importance in an earlier blog “Managing Calcium can Improve Yield.”
What does Fortalis contain? A reader sent an email asking about what is in Fortalis after reading an online label and asking about the analysis. The label states “Fortalis contains CaTTM technology which mobilizes calcium within the plant to support flowering and enhance pod development, resulting in increased yields.” Fortalis ingredients include 0.02% diphenyl urea (active ingredient) and 99.98% inert ingredients. So, what does that mean?
Any time you buy a pesticide, liquid fertilizer product or crop enhancer the label reports the active ingredients by percent and inert ingredients by percent. This is a label reporting standard. Usually the active ingredient is a smaller portion of the total with inert ingredients and water making up the rest.
FortalisTM has a nutrient analysis of a 8-0-0-10Ca-0.6Zn and weighs 12.1 lbs./gallon. At the application rate of 14 fluid ounces per acre or 1.32 lbs./A, there is little fertilizer applied, about 0.106 lbs. N/A, 0.132 lbs. Ca/A and an insignificant amount of zinc. It wouldn’t be classified as a foliar fertilizer and the amount of nitrogen is too small to cause leaf burn.
Fortalis is a crop enhancer, not a calcium supplement or plant growth regulator. Calcium mainly moves through the plant with the transpiration stream. Think of the stem as a straw and the transpiring leaves as lips providing the suction. Plant physiologists call this the apoplast. The apoplast works well to move calcium from roots into the stem and branches and out into leaves. But this path of calcium mobility falls short for highly improved high yielding crops.
That’s where Fortalis comes in. Its CaT technology pushes calcium to extremities that don’t have enough calcium for top crop. This type of calcium movement is more like a sponge soaking up water: the pores in the sponge are like tiny channels between plant cells and organs. CaT technology moves calcium through the cell channel network, called the symplast. I like to think of CaT squeezing the calcium sponge: a sponge laying in a shallow pool will eventually soak the water but will happen faster if you squeeze it. What that means for the crop is that hungry tissues will get calcium nourishment when they need it for top yields.
Calcium seems relatively abundant in the soil based on soil tests but can be lacking at growth points because of its immobility. As the least mobile of the plant minerals calcium isn’t always readily available in the plant. And the more distant the plant organ from the ground or in tissues with waxy cuticles, less calcium is available. This is particularly true at remote growth points like flowers and fruits.
To learn more about how Fortalis works and how to use it and if you are a Certified Crop Adviser and want to capture a CEU, watch this video.
Dan Davidson is a PhD agronomist, part-time farmer and soybean expert from Nebraska who consults with soybean checkoff and industry on crop production, marketing, and product development projects.