Nature uses relatively few minerals to construct a plant—a combination of four (4) atmospheric gases comprises 97.5 percent of all dry plant matter weight. They are carbon (C) 45 percent, oxygen (O) 45 percent, hydrogen (H) six percent and nitrogen (N) at 1.5 percent.
The other five solid elements of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S) and magnesium (Mg) make up another two percent of dry plant matter weight. Just nine (9) elements make up 99.5 percent of dry plant matter weight. These are the structural building blocks of the plant kingdom—roots, trunks, stems, branches, leaves and eventually fruits, vegetables, grains, forages or produce.
With only one-half of one percent (0.5%) remaining, the other minerals do not occupy a “volumetric” position of any substance in the plants overall weight. Yet their role is equally vital to that of structure/plant function. Trace elements, some 75 of them, are the key to activating the enzymatic operating systems within the plants genetic coding.
Enzymes run virtually every living system and physiological function in every single organism on this planet from single celled microorganisms to multi-trillion celled humans. Nothing lives or functions without enzymes and enzymes require activators to function properly and efficiently.
Enzymes are biomolecules (any organic molecule that is produced by a living organism) that catalyze (speed up) chemical reactions. Almost all enzymes are proteins. In enzymatic reactions, the elements or molecules are converted into different molecules and/or compounds. In short, enzymes can take elements such as C, H, O and form DNA structures or various carbohydrate structures. Not only can enzymes combine elements to make new compounds, but they can also decompose existing compounds into simpler molecules and recombine components to meet the needs of the organism for which they function.
All life requires enzymatic support. Each enzyme (and there are thousands of them) requires a specific trace element to activate it. For example, Zn does not substitute for Ni nor does Cu substitute for Co or B, etc. In the absence of the trace element, the enzyme either does not function or functions at an extremely low level. Enzymes are intended to speed up the biochemical reaction times by thousands to billions of times faster.
Yield and Quality
The efficiency of the plant as it uses the structural building block elements is completely driven by the trace minerals via the enzymes. To get the most value from the “N, P, K” applications, trace elements must be present to activate those hundreds and thousands of enzymes that are needed to make the structural and nutritional compounds within the plant. Modern agriculture promotes the idea that N, P, K is the substance of plant growth and nutrition—nothing could be further from the truth. Plants are designed to require a broad spectrum of minerals, both major and trace elements, to grow, be functional and healthy, and reproduce quality nutrition for the upper food chain.
Plants first produce Plant Primary Metabolites (PPM), which include carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (fats and oils). If there are additional energy and minerals available, the plant continues to produce Plant Secondary Metabolites (PSM) such as alkaloids, terpenoids, phenolics and sulfated amino acids. Within the PSM system of plants lays the ability to produce over FIFTY MILLION (50,000,000,000+) constituents that make up tens and hundreds of thousands of compounds that add to the collective nutrition of the plants.
These Plant Secondary Metabolites include elements that protect not only the plant, but the organisms that consume the plant. Protection includes anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial elements. PSM capabilities include cancer fighting elements, fever reducing compounds, respiratory system aids, calming compounds, and many more capabilities. They strengthen your immune system, your digestive system, and your nervous system. They build and strengthen your skeletal structure, reduce cholesterol, and much more! If we were able to produce and consume properly grown plants, most of our modern "diseases" would simply disappear, all because of the rich and varied capabilities of the Plant Secondary Metabolites.
However, without the 75 to 80 or more trace elements, a great many of these PSM compounds will never be produced by the plant. The results are plant diseases, insect attacks, low Brix readings, poor nutrient quality, a lack of flavor, storage and shelf life. Higher organisms that consume these materials will not inherit the ability to sustain health, function or productivity.
The presence of trace elements is crucial for the enzymes to efficiently convert the building block structural elements into plant components, both above and below ground. Even more importantly, trace elements assist the plants genetic coding via the enzymatic system to produce the health sustaining, nutrient dense, quality enriching compounds that all higher life forms are designed to utilize.