Answering Your Questions About Post-Harvest Biological Crop Nutrition Products
Harvest is right around the corner. That means it’s time to make sure you’re prepared for what comes next in your fields.
Getting microbes in your soil this fall gives them months to build a thriving microbial community for next spring’s crop.
Today, we’re answering some of your top questions about BW Fusion’s post-harvest biological crop nutrition products.
Q. Will Meltdown tie up N in my soil?
A. Meltdown will only tie up a small percentage of nitrogen on the soil’s surface—not enough that you need to compensate. Nitrogen is only tied up for 7-10 days, then the microorganisms in Meltdown will end up making even more nitrogen available than there was prior to the application.
Q. Is there any benefit to adding N to a Meltdown application?
A. You can add nitrogen, but you don’t need to. As Meltdown works, it increases carbon levels in the top inch of your soil—but it also releases nitrogen within 7-10 days as it breaks down stover/residue. If you’re concerned about the carbon to nitrogen ratio being out of balance in that top inch of soil, you can add a gallon or two of nitrogen along with Meltdown. This will keep your C:N ratio neutral and enhance the effectiveness of Meltdown.
Q. Is Meltdown a replacement for cover crops?
A. We’ve had growers call Meltdown “The Liquid Cover Crop,” but it doesn’t need to be an either/or decision. Our data shows that Meltdown causes significant increases in water extractable organic carbon—building the same nutrient pool that the exudates from cover crops contribute to. You can use Meltdown on its own, or continue with your cover crop routine, building the nutrient pool.
Q. Does Meltdown have an impact on organic matter?
A. The microorganisms in Meltdown will break down the residue from previous crops/cover crops into finer particles of organic compounds. Meltdown contains microorganisms that will remove the waxy surface from dead plants. By removing this, the other organisms in Meltdown are able to break down cellulose and lignin (the basic building blocks of all matter) to penetrate the stalks of the plants. This not only builds organic matter, but it also returns tied-up nutrients to the soil.
Q. Will Meltdown remove all the fodder and leave my soil exposed, leading to erosion?
A. No, Meltdown will speed up the degradation process, returning the tied-up nutrients to your soil. Through this process, it will weaken the fodder and make it more brittle, but it won’t totally eliminate it.
Q. Since Meltdown releases nutrients, how many credits can be safely used for nutrient cycling and still achieve high yields?
A. It all depends on what you’re currently doing. The nutrients released by the microbes breaking down the residue will more than make up for the difference in input costs. University studies have shown there is between $100-$200 worth of nutrient investment tied up in corn stover—Meltdown helps you take back those nutrients.
Q. How do I know if I will benefit from adding HumiCal to my Meltdown application?
A. Adding another product should always bring benefits, but to find out how your fields' calcium levels are looking, we recommend soil testing. Agronomy 365’s Indicator Max or Indicator Complete soil tests include H3A—or plant available—calcium levels. We use this data to determine the need for HumiCal.
Q. Should I apply Prime in spring after applying Meltdown in the fall?
A. To get the most impact in the spring after a fall Meltdown application, we recommend applying Biocast Max over Prime. This new product focuses on carbon cycling and nutrient solubilization—building on the foundation set by Meltdown in the fall. Plus, you can graze cattle on the fields in between the applications — Bodie has been doing it for two years on his home farm!
We could talk for days about the benefits of Meltdown to maximize your fall fertility, but we’ll stick to these basics for now. Have other questions about adding Meltdown into your crop nutrition program? Get in touch with our agronomists today.
Now is the time to make sure next year is even better. Find what the combination of Meltdown and HumiCal could do for your field.