Growers across the corn belt are trying hard to wrap up spring planting. Due to the unseasonably wet and cold conditions we have experienced, a common concern for corn growers is, “How did my nitrogen weather the spring?”
Every farmer knows corn needs nitrogen. The problem with nitrogen is it’s not always there when the corn crop needs it. An acre of corn needs approximately 1 pound of nitrogen a day from VE to V4 stages of growth and 2.3 - 2.5 pounds a day from V5 through tassel. Unfortunately, by the time the corn crop hits the top end of its daily nitrogen demand, pre-season nitrogen has been exposed to weeks of inclement weather and significant amounts of synthetic nitrogen have been lost or are unavailable to the crop.
In a challenging economic climate, nutrient losses are felt in the checkbook as well as the field. Farmers know it’s not uncommon to lose 40-60% of their applied nitrogen. While farmers use best practices to mitigate nitrogen loss, they know that the worst place to store nitrogen is in their field.
While chemistry has given the world abundant nitrogen, it’s no longer the best nitrogen source available. The best nitrogen source for corn is weather resistant and applies nitrogen daily to the roots of the corn plant. The best nitrogen source provides more nutrition as plant needs increase. The best nitrogen source outperforms synthetic products when conditions are at their worst and provides for a much more reliable nutrient management strategy.
Our first commercial product - Pivot Bio PROVEN™, is a microbial nitrogen production and delivery system for corn that doesn’t leach like synthetic nitrogen products and applies nitrogen daily to the corn plant’s roots. As nitrogen producing factories that adhere to corn roots, these microbes grow with the plants. In weather events, Pivot Bio PROVEN™ microbes stay on the roots while synthetic nitrogen washes away.
During the 2018 growing season, Pivot Bio PROVEN™ helped farmers increase their yields by an average of 7.7 bushels/acre across all environments. (See our full harvest report here). Additionally, on light soils and/or acres exposed to significant spring rains after pre-season nitrogen application, Pivot Bio PROVEN™ acres held a 17-bushel advantage over synthetic nitrogen acres.
When planning a nutrient management strategy, farmers have a new tool as an alternative to chemical nitrogen — a microbial fertilizer, Pivot Bio PROVEN™. If you'd like to try it out next year, get in touch! Click here to connect with our agronomy team and sign up for our newsletter.