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March 29, 2024

How Does Prologue Enhance Phosphate Performance?

Posted by Agricen

By Ronald Calhoun, PhD, Loveland Products

Crops need phosphorus (P) early in their development to help them get off to a good start. This important macronutrient not only helps them capture and convert sunlight into useful plant compounds, it also assists with plant growth, stalk strength and early root growth and development.

One challenge that growers need to think about each season is that phosphorus availability can be limited by soil fixation, poor root growth and cold temperatures that limit microbial activity. Much of the phosphorus that is applied each season is at risk of fixation with elements in the soil like iron (Fe), aluminum (Al) and calcium (Ca). Once those bonds have formed, the bound phosphate becomes essentially unavailable to the growing crop. For these reasons, it is difficult to access phosphate in the soil bank, making applied phosphate relatively inefficient.

Along with phosphorus, plants also need zinc (Zn). Zinc plays a role in the manufacturing of plant hormones that help drive root growth. It also has a unique relationship with phosphorus, interacting with phosphate to influence root growth. These two nutrients work best when they are available in a ratio in which neither one is limiting the other. Unfortunately, prevailing spring conditions, like cool temperatures and waterlogged soils, can limit the availability of zinc.

Prologue (5-0-0 6.3% Zn) is a unique technology designed to enhance phosphate nutrition for a higher performing and more sustainable approach to crop nutrition. In the trial below, adding Prologue to 10-34-0 starter led to an average yield increase of +8.9 bushels per acre across six sites.


Topics: Corn, Guest Blogs, Prologue

April 1, 2019

It’s All About the Roots!

Posted by Agricen

By Maud Hinchee, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Agricen Sciences 

It’s spring, and newly germinated seedlings are revving their engines!

Once a seedling has secured a foothold with its root, it uses the power of its photosynthetic engines to drive growth. Sunlight is the fuel source, enabling the plant to produce the proteins, lipids and carbohydrates it needs to make new leaves and new roots. To create these internal building blocks, the seedling must mine and extract raw materials from the soil in the form of water, macronutrients and micronutrients.

How does a root prospect? Unlike the “49ers” who picked up their stakes and often travelled great distances to join the California Gold Rush, a plant is literally rooted to its home. Often, its immediate home is not choice real estate with plentiful water and nutrients on tap, so the plant needs to be able to find water and nutrients, sometimes at great distance, and “sluice” them back through its root system to the growing shoot.

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Topics: Plant Nutrition & Health, Guest Blogs

April 28, 2016

Why Soybean Growers Should Apply Extract PBA This Spring

Posted by Agricen

By Randy Stockhorst, Loveland Products, Ohio

For soybean plants, R3 is a critical growth stage during which the plant's nutrient needs rise to support pod growth and development. By applying Extract PBA with a soybean pre-emerge herbicide, growers can ensure their plants will have the nutrition they need at this critical growth period, which will position them for an excellent yield outcome.

In our area of northwest Ohio, potassium deficiency is the most prevalent deficiency that we've seen in R3 soybean tissue samples over the past several years. The amount of potassium stored in corn stalks is a little more than a 1-to-1 ratio on yield. That means that in a 200 bushel corn crop, for example, there are approximately 205 lbs of potassium locked in the stalks.

By applying Extract PBA on corn residue now, growers can accelerate nutrient release and mineralization so that more nutrients–including potassiumare available to their soybean crop at the reproductive stages.

Download Extract PBA Product Booklet


Topics: Soybeans, Crop Residue, Guest Blogs, Extract PBA

April 13, 2016

Root Intelligence Helps Plants Survive and Thrive

Posted by Agricen

By Maud Hinchee, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Agricen Sciences

Getting a good start is key to a germinating seed’s need to “survive and thrive.” Essential to this process is establishing a root system that creates a strong foothold and provides access to available nutrients and water. But how does the emerging seedling root do this? 

It turns out that the new root is constantly making choices about where and when to grow based on the environment it encounters. Guided by its “root brain,” it makes decisions that maximize its access to water and nutrients as quickly as possible.  


Topics: Guest Blogs, Ag Biologicals & Biostimulants

April 11, 2016

Making the Case for In-Furrow Applications

Posted by Agricen

By Jeremiah Butler

As we enter planting time and growers make final decisions for the coming crop year, many growers will consider using in-furrow products. There are several reasons why they should research and consider in-furrow applications.  

Many of you have heard Dr. Fred Below of the University of Illinois talk about his “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World.” As we look at the factors below, we can see that there is no silver bullet. Attaining a high yield truly takes a systems approach!


Topics: Starter/In-Furrow Applications, Corn, Guest Blogs, Accomplish LM

October 26, 2015

Using Biostimulants to Talk to Plants

Posted by Agricen

By Maud Hinchee, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Agricen Sciences

Plants are constantly responding to their senses. They can touch, smell, taste and otherwise sense water, food and predators—and they can remember. Of course, they don’t do all of this exactly the way a human does, but they do respond to the messages they receive from the world around them to survive, thrive and reproduce—much the way we do.

This is a pretty stimulating idea – that plants are actually sentient beings responding to stimuli in a purposeful manner and communicating with each other and with potential friends and foes. (For more on this, take a look at the What Plants Talk About” episode from the PBS series, Nature.) It’s also an idea that has captivated researchers and companies in the agricultural space in recent years, most notably around the topic of biostimulants and other agricultural biologicals. 


Topics: Guest Blogs, Ag Biologicals & Biostimulants

September 17, 2014

Understanding Nutrient Requirements for High-Yielding Corn

Posted by Agricen

By Fred E. Below, PhD, Professor of Plant Physiology, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Agronomic advancements have brought corn yields to new heights, but producers have had little guidance on how to meet the nutrient requirements of modern, high-yield corn hybrids in a way that maximizes their yields. As a result, the high yields we see today have been accompanied in many places across the United States by a significant drop in soil nutrient levels, particularly phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulfur (S) and zinc (Zn). This combination—higher yielding hybrids and decreasing soil fertility levels—suggests that producers have not sufficiently matched their maintenance fertilizer applications with nutrient uptake and removal by the corn.

By better understanding nutrient uptake and partitioning, producers can optimize their fertilization practices to meet their crop needs and attain maximum yield potential. I’ll focus here primarily on the uptake, partitioning, and utilization of P and K by corn.

Download the Biocatalyst Technology FAQ


Topics: Plant Nutrition & Health, Dry Fertilizer, Corn, Guest Blogs

March 12, 2014

Guest Blog: What to Expect When Banding Nutrients with Corn Seed

Posted by Agricen

By Daniel Kaiser, PhD, University of Minnesota

In areas where spring is cool and wet, banding fertilizer with the planter can benefit corn crops. Although application of dry fertilizer with the corn planter has played an important role historically, it has become less common with increasing acreages and planter sizes. Instead, liquid fertilizers have steadily replaced dry for supplying nutrients to the corn plant early in the growing season.

The primary benefit of applying low rates of fertilizer directly on the corn seed is more rapid growth early in the growing season. Increased early growth can be viewed as an insurance policy, ensuring that plants reach critical periods of growth faster. Low rates of phosphorus can significantly increase the amount of growth, even in fields where soil phosphorous test levels are high. Our research in Minnesota has demonstrated that as little at 10 lbs P2O5 applied with the planter can produce sizeable increases in plant mass early in the growing season. This increase has been shown to speed development and decrease the time to silking by one to two days.


Topics: Starter/In-Furrow Applications, Minnesota, Corn, Guest Blogs

December 5, 2012

The 1st World Congress on Biostimulants in Agriculture

Posted by AMSPressMaster

By David G. Beaudreau, Vice President of Environmental Policy, DC Legislative and Regulatory Services

Last week, I attended the First World Congress on the Use of Biostimulants in Agriculture. Over 700 people from more than 30 countries were also in attendance, all of whom seem to have a strong interest in and energy for this emerging field. Being an attendee offered a preview into what will likely be an expanding market and larger long-term issue in the agriculture industry.


Topics: Guest Blogs, Ag Biologicals & Biostimulants