Biological Plant Placement

Biological Plant Placement

Determining which plots will benefit from biological products

A key goal of Bio Ag Management is to help growers place biological products where they will be the most successful.

Because the properties of soil’s biological, physical, and chemical traits are intertwined, we must look at the physical and chemical characteristics in order to make informed decisions on where we may have success in using biological inoculants and biostimulants. For instance, sometimes a field has historically low soil test levels, but it can be determined, through testing, that a lot of mineral nutrition in the soil hasn’t been made available to the plants. This type of field may be a good candidate due to these chemical characteristics. Others may have physical issues that biological inoculants can help overcome.

Below is an example of how we can use real-world observations to make a biological product placement decision.

The field in this example is a highly productive field that, on the surface, may not appear to be a field one would target for using biological products. The overall fertility is high with good organic matter on a dark silty clay loam soil. The chemical properties appear to be in check. In 2020 the field was applied with Bio Ag Management’s in-furrow biological program, and a check strip was left in the southern half of the field. The treated portion of this field showed a 20 bu/ac increase in yield above the check strip. The results in this field highlight how it is important not to overlook how the physical, chemical, and biological traits are woven together to create an optimal habitat for plant growth. Although the chemical aspects may be in good order, a large amount of water from neighboring fields moves through this field. This fact, coupled with minimal slope, means this field generally is in a tough landscape position. This has led us to hypothesize that because there are issues with the physical traits not being optimal to maintain biological populations and diversity to efficiently cycle nutrients, the Bio Ag E in-furrow program showed positive benefits. In the fall of 2020, multiple “indicator complete” soil tests were pulled to better understand this phenomenon.

Treatment
Yield
Acres
Bio Ag E (North)
230
4.2
No Treatment
209
2.2
Bio Ag E (South)
232
4.3
Test Plot image showing plot with no treatment beside treated plots

Contact Greg Tippey to learn more about how we can help you.

Call 217.430.4524