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PFR Report: Nitrogen Fixation - More Corn, Less Fertilizer

Published on Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Every year, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team tests new products, practices, and equipment to help farmers make better decisions and improve profitability. Two new products that PFR is testing in 2020 are Pivot Bio PROVEN™ and Envita™ from Azotic North America. Both of these in-furrow products have been developed around the idea of using biologicals to enable corn to fix its own nitrogen (N). If proven effective, these products could have a drastic impact on raising corn as we know it today. Farmers would be able to get a portion of the N needed for their corn crop from a source other than a synthetic fertilizer.

Product Details

Pivot Bio PROVEN™: This liquid product contains microbes that attach to the epidermis of the roots early on and continue to colonize and multiply as the plant grows. The microbes consume the corn plants exudates and gives back N as the crop grows. Prior to planting, the product must be stored out of direct sunlight and a temperature between 40⁰ to 70⁰F to prolong the life and efficacy of the microbes.

Envita™: This in-furrow liquid treatment is comprised of a bacteria that claims to get in the plant cells shortly after emergence and grow with the plant. The plant is then able to convert the N that is in the air and use it throughout the growing season. With the addition of Envita™, plants would be able to fix approximately 25% of the N they require.

Potential On-Farm Applications and Advantages

  1. Decrease the amount of synthetic fertilizer used without sacrificing yield
  2. Potential to increase yields with the addition of these products to a farmer’s normal N program
  3. Decrease the potential for N loss (leaching, denitrification, and volatilization), thus having a positive impact on the environment- especially in regard to water quality
  4. Plants now have the N they require at all times throughout the growing season

2020 Testing Details

  • We will be testing these products at multiple PFR sites in 2020. Envita™ will be tested on both corn and soybeans
  • PFR teams will evaluate the addition of these biological products in-furrow and reducing N rates at sidedress to determine what effect they have on yield
  • Testing will also determine if yield can be gained by maintaining a typical N program and adding these products at planting
  • Along with yield data, we will gather tissue samples at multiple vegetative stages and stalk nitrate samples at black layer

We have had a lot of questions and interest regarding these new N-fixing products. We are excited to evaluate them this year and hope to bring you more updates throughout the growing season and at our Field Shows this summer!

 

 

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Author: Jared Chester

Categories: PFR, PFR Reports

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