Dan’s 2019 Notes from the Road

Dan Poston September 5, 2019

Dispatches from the road Fold2.3

Trials demonstrating efficacy of Pivot Bio PROVEN™. In the trial on the left, nutrient stressed corn grows taller with Pivot Bio PROVEN™. On the right, corn grown with Pivot Bio PROVEN™ and 100 lbs of N per acre is visually consistent with corn grown with a full 150 lb of N per acre.


 

We continue to see promising results with Pivot Bio PROVEN™ in the field. 

My travels have taken me to from the Midwest to the Deep South. Parts of the Deep South are either harvesting now or finished with harvest. Irrigated yields are good in the mid and Deep South but dryland yields range from zero in the southeast (where heat and drought decimated the crop early in the season) to decent in other areas. Despite a few garden spots for corn in the Midwest, the best word to describe the 2019 crop is “inconsistent”. Tasseling and silking are often erratic and nitrogen deficiency is prevalent in many fields that have entered grain fill. Some fields are showing nitrogen deficiency symptoms as high as the ear leaf at or shortly after pollination. 

 

Farmers that used with Pivot Bio PROVEN™, however, are seeing some exciting results. My job is easy these days - I just tell the growers what I’m seeing when I visit the acres planted with Pivot Bio PROVEN™. The Pivot Bio team along with the IN10T Farmer Trials team have made well over 200 visits to Pivot Bio PROVEN customer fields. In more than 50% of those fields we have been able to detect visible differences. Pivot Bio PROVEN™  treated plants are often greener, taller, or have larger root systems. Differences are just now showing up in many fields and are being detected remotely with satellite and drone imagery. Lower canopy leaves in these fields are frequently greener with Pivot Bio PROVEN™ and fewer leaves are lost to nitrogen remobilization. 

 

Maybe most exciting are the early results from academic collaborators investigating how our product works across  nitrogen application rates. These test plots show visible improvement with Pivot Bio PROVEN™ whether there’s no nitrogen at all or nearly 300 lb of nitrogen applied. What this tells me is that our microbes don’t quit - they keep pumping out nitrogen right at the root of the crop. That nitrogen makes a difference to the plant. This is a clear indication that our microbe is having an effect regardless of nitrogen present in the soil. 

 

Some of my road trips take me to field days, where growers have an opportunity to evaluate up-and-coming technologies. I have attended field days in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Illinois so far this season. I’m proud to represent the advances made in the biologicals and synthetic biology space alongside ag tech tools like drones, insect detection devices, biological insecticides, and new genetics. My conversations focus on the tangible benefits that Pivot Bio PROVEN™ provides to the farmer.  In some situations, growers could potentially eliminate applications trips, thereby reducing soil compaction and improving whole farm efficiency by saving time per acre. Total pounds-on nitrogen can potentially be reduced in other situations, reducing the overall environmental impact of our farming operations.  

 

Farmers have responded with great interest to Pivot Bio PROVEN™. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting Pivot Bio customers and very much appreciate their hospitality and their willingness to use what could become a truly transformational product. Based on what I have seen, I am confident that Pivot Bio PROVEN™ can reduce nitrogen use in many fields and reduce yield variability in others. Pivot Bio PROVEN™ truly represents the first major step in a decades long mission to help cereal crops fix some of their own nitrogen.  

 

If you’re a customer or collaborator, I want to hear from you! Comment below to share what you’ve seen in your fields this year.