As fertilizer prices hit record highs, one company is helping farmers claw back nutrients they already bought with a new patent-pending, fast-acting biological that breaks down residue and releases more nutrients for next season’s crop.
“Results show significant residue reduction inside two weeks, and up to 100 pounds more NPK and micronutrients for the next crop,” says Mitch Eviston, Meristem founder and CEO, in announcing the new formulation of Excavator. He added that Excavator and Meristem’s other new biologicals are part of the antidote for high fertilizer prices and can help farmers boost yields and beat inflation.
“You’ve never backed away from a fight, so don’t start now,” Eviston advises farmers. “Don’t send as much money to big fertilizer companies concerned more with Wall Street than your Main Street. I am so sure of Excavator’s in-field results, I’m shipping each of 700 farmers enough to treat 25 acres so they can test it on their own ground. We’ve hired a small army of interns to visit those farms to pull soil tests to document results. We are sure once farmers see the big return on investment, they will want Excavator on all their acres.”
Joe Gednalske, Meristem’s senior product development lead, says the proprietary surfactant blend quickly takes Excavator deep inside the pith of the residue. “That’s when the value of our six specially developed microbes deployed in very high numbers of colony forming units (CFUs) is expressed, when those microbes wake up in the residue, multiply and begin their work.”
Gednalske, whose name is on more than 30 other crop input patents, says another aspect of the product is its ability to tank-mix well with herbicides and remain stable through application all the way to its end use.
“A unique surfactant combined with fulvic acid is the carrier system for six different microbes, all dormant and stable in liquid right up to the time they hit the residue,” says Gednalske. “It’s new, it works very well, and we have a patent on the system.”
Justin Ogle, precision ag consultant, farmer and co-founder of Record Harvest in Nevada, Missouri, has done some rigorous in-field testing with the new Excavator, and says results from the new material have been quite impressive.
“It’s reducing residue a lot in just a couple weeks and that’s without any use of nitrogen as a carrier,” he says. “Every field has its own story, but we’ve got soil test results showing it’s often adding more NPK to those treated acres than we expected—more than 40 pounds of nitrogen, considerable phosphorous, and way more than 40 pounds of potassium in some fields.”
Mitch Schrock was one of Record Harvest’s farmers cooperating with side-by-side tests in a 50-acre field.
“I was a little skeptical we would see much of an increase, but I can’t argue with the numbers that came back from Midwest Lab,” says Schrock. “After that, I went ahead and sprayed another 200 acres with it last fall. On those acres, I won’t be adding any additional fertilizer in the spring. We will be able to avoid that expense.”
Schrock also plans to apply more Excavator with metribuzin in the spring.
While fertilizer costs bring the nutrient value into sharp focus, Rob McClelland, Meristem president and CMO, says that’s only a part of the overall ROI. He lists four ways farmers can expect to win, and while results will vary, they could easily tally up to $113 per acre:
Breaking down residue faster will allow faster planting with fewer skips: $25 per acre
More nutrients available early: 30 to 40 pounds nitrogen, 5 to 10 pounds phosphorus, 35 to 40 pounds potassium, $55 per acre
Lighter residue means one fewer pass $18 per acre
Breaks down carbon and increases organic matter: $15 per acre
McClelland adds that high fertilizer prices accelerate convergence of emerging issues that make the timing perfect for innovative biological answers of all kinds.
“Stronger hybrids and increased plant populations mean more residue, and biologicals are addressing that issue,” McClelland says. “There’s also an increased emphasis on soil health and carbon markets, as well as concerns for nutrient stewardship. We need biologicals to help us create the sort of sustainability we seek for American farmers—economic sustainability. A key mission of Meristem is to open up more acres to innovative answers and help more farmers win with new technology.”
Eviston understands some farmers still are leery of “snake oil,” and that’s why Meristem is sending out so many 25-acre samples.
“High-yield farmers need to begin trying out some of these new approaches, these new products, that will help you make the most of the nutrients you do buy. This is the perfect year to try a new approach,” he says, then shares a quick list:
“Of course, fight back by applying Excavator and releasing up to 40% more nutrients in time for early-season growth,” he says.
“Then move away from blanket all-field fertilizer applications to more strip-till and in-furrow starters,” Eviston continues. “Field research with Revline Hopper Throttle and the talc/graphite carrier system for biologicals is demonstrating a 6- to 8-bushel-per-acre yield bump.”
“And consider new biologicals that make the most of every pound you put down, and at a fraction of the cost,” he adds. “Our Revline Advanced contains Revline plant growth regulators and our Nutrifuel with eight different microbes that boost plant health and nutrient availability.”
“Reducing waste in the channel and opening up a new pipeline for innovation that helps growers get a better ROI is key to our mission,” Eviston says. “We want to help American farmers better compete in a global market, and that means giving them a chance to keep more of every dollar they earn.”
Meristem Crop Performance Group, LLC (www.meristemag.com) is one of the fastest-growing crop input companies in America. Meristem sources, formulates, and delivers high-quality crop inputs to farmers at the least cost possible. By helping farmers and local independent agribusinesses make the most of their infrastructure and intellectual property investments, the company improves productivity and removes waste in the established distribution channel.Click here to see more...