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New Stimulant Motivates Soil Microbes to Quit Being Lazy, Contribute to Yield

How farmers grow plants has not kept up with the pace of consumer and environmental changes. Sound Ag is trying to change that by unlocking the communication barrier between plants and microbes.

“Microbes, as we’re learning, are beneficial in terms of getting nutrients into a plant and ultimately driving yield outcomes,” says Jeff Diven, director of agronomy, Sound Ag. “We developed a product to excite them—keep them from being lazy and not working for us in the soil—and contribute to the bottom line, which is yield.”

Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for plant health. Their Source product for corn or soybeans stimulates those soil microbes.

“When we apply the product and we’re exciting microbes, we’ve been able to map out which ones are getting more activity,” he says. “There are nitrogen-fixing bacteria that live in the soil. We’re able to excite them—get them producing more nitrogen from atmospheric sources as well as help solubilize phosphorus with a different set of microbes. [Source] brings more N, more P within the root zone and getting that into the plant.”

Source is a foliar product and has a lot of flexibility with application.

“Anywhere from V4 to R3, so we have a majority of the season to go out and put it on that crop,” says Diven. “We like to get in on a free pass across the field. We advise either mixing with the herbicide early at V4 or a fungicide late at VT. They don’t require any special equipment, and we’re riding along with what’s already going on.”

Diven says there are a lot of microbial products, but those often have live microbes, which is another reason for Source’s flexibility.

“Logistically it’s hard to keep something alive—we’ve got to keep it out of the sun, out of the cold—we don’t want to open it until the second before we use it,” he says. “Source is none of those things. It’s actually a chemistry that activates microbes, so it’s very shelf stable. We don’t have to worry about any of those problems, and it’s more consistent when we put it on. The nice part is we’re leveraging what that producer already has in the fields and getting more out of it.”

For more information, visit sound.ag.


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