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September 10, 2013

What Are You Missing by Not Using a Fertilizer Additive?

Posted by Elese Orrell

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By Stephen Sexton, Director of Technical Sales, Agricen (@AgricenLifer)

The team at Agricen recently surveyed growers about their use of fertilizer additives in dry programs. A little less than one-third (32%) said they planned to incorporate a fertilizer additive into their program, while the rest (68%) said that they wouldn’t be using these products in their program this year.

Why aren’t more growers using these types of products, and could they be missing out?

One big reason that seems to affect growers’ decisions on whether to use an additive is that growers are uncertain if they are effective. Although 35% of the growers we surveyed said they felt from past experience that additives were either somewhat or very effective, a slightly higher percentage—39%—reported that they weren’t sure about additive efficacy.

That probably doesn’t surprise many people. There are products out there that don’t live up to their claims and don’t give growers the return on investment they want and expect. But that’s not true for all products, and many growers may be missing out.

Titan PBA and Accomplish LM, distributed by Loveland/CPS, are backed by over 600 studies showing that they help growers get more out of their existing fertilizer programs. One example of the results we see:

Titan PBA Increases Nutrient Use Efficiency and Corn Yield in Dry Fertilizer Programs

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The above trial began in fall of 2011 in Southwest Minnesota with three dry fertilizer treatments (each treatment was replicated in 9-20 acre strips):

  • Treatment #1 - Grower standard practice (100 lbs of 0-0-60 and 100 lbs of 11-52-0)
  • Treatment #2 - Double rate of grower standard practice (200 lbs 0-0-60 and 200 lbs 11-52-0)
  • Treatment #3 - Grower standard practice + TITAN PBA

Results: When this plot was harvested in fall 2012, Treatment #2 (double rate of P & K) increased corn yields by 19 bushels per acre compared to grower standard practice, but at an additive cost of $50-$60 per acre. In comparison, Treatment #3 (Grower standard + TITAN PBA) increased corn yields by 18 bushels per acre compared to grower standard practice, but at an additive cost of only about $5 per acre. In other words, although Treatment #2 (double rate of P & K) yielded 1 bushel per acre more compared to the Titan PBA treatment (Treatment 3), it did so at an additive cost of $45-55 more per acre compared to Titan. For the cost of 1 bushel of corn per acre, growers can use Titan PBA to optimize yield from their standard dry fertilizer programs.

You can find more examples here.

By dismissing fertilizer additives across the board, many growers are not taking advantage of all the ways they can cost effectively and sustainably improve their operations. What are you missing from your fertilizer program?

Topics: Minnesota, Dry Fertilizer, Corn, Titan, Accomplish LM, Ag Biologicals & Biostimulants