Data-Driven Decisions: Using biologicals to support your crop through an unpredictable growing season
A rollercoaster of a planting season is setting the tone for an unpredictable growing season. We’ve seen strong winds, drastic temperatures and sporadic moisture across the Midwest the past couple of months. As we make our crop nutrition plans, we know that we can’t control what the weather will do, but we can create a plan that will continue to work for us, no matter what Mother Nature brings.
Sean Nettleton, BW Fusion Regional Sales Agronomist and Sales Manager, shares how the well-rounded microbial teams in BW biologicals provide effective crop nutrition, no matter the circumstances.
“I think that's the wonderful thing about [Environoc] 401—and I'll even throw Meltdown into that mix as well, as those two foundational products,” Sean says. “Once some moisture happens, you've got 28 strains, roughly speaking, in those two products, respectively, that do so many different things: strains that work on phosphorus, strains that work on potassium, strains that ammonify nitrogen, strains that are diazotrophs that fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. We have strains that are doing so many different jobs that I think it gives us the ability to get benefits in most situations.”
Rather than being rendered inactive by changes in weather conditions, biologicals react with the weather to provide the nutrients your plants need in the moment.
“Maybe the weather is not as conducive for these five or six strains to work,” Sean says. “But these five or six strains over here that do something else, the weather may be perfectly conducive for them to release phosphorus or ammonify nitrogen or something like that.”
With these 28+ strains, you can feel confident that you’ve got a team of microbes working for you, covering all points along the spectrum from drought to flood level moisture and freezing to fiery temperatures. When the inevitable weather event occurs, microbes have the natural ability to protect themselves, and help protect your crops at the same time.
“Everybody has a survival instinct. Even a microbe has a survival instinct. If the situation isn't ideal, it's going to protect itself until the environment returns to an ideal environment,” Sean says.
"We're going to change the way we understand fertility."
“So it's no different than if it's too cold, we're gonna hang out in the house and put some extra clothes on, and we're not gonna go outside unless we have to. It's too hot, same thing. But that's the glory of having almost 30 different strains of biology that do different things—they all have their own little sweet spot.”
While there’s a lot these foundational products like Environoc 401 and Meltdown can provide, supplemental nutrition can help take your yields, and your profits, to the next level. This is where the Agronomy 365 Dashboard comes in.
“We've got the proof to show why,” Sean says. “The plant is telling us what it wants, what it needs. The soil is telling us what it can give and what it has. Let's put those two things together.”
When your crops are being hit with all sorts of weather and other environmental circumstances, it’s hard to know how they’re doing below the surface. If the circumstances aren’t normal, your nutrient levels probably aren’t normal either.
In-season soil and tissue samples with real-time results give you the data you need to make product application decisions. Rather than taking a guess about what nutrients your crops need, spend your money where it counts—jumping straight to the products your crops need, skipping the products you think your crops need.
“I'm a believer that Agronomy 365 is going to change the way we look at spending fertility dollars and the response that we get from those, and I think that is going to be huge,” Sean says.
“We're going to change the way we understand fertility to where we're making smaller, incremental applications during the growing season, and we see more benefit than pounds and tons applied of inefficient fertilizer. That's the game changer, right there. Because the weather is unpredictable, when we use 365, we see that maybe we didn't need all that potash up front, maybe we needed that K later in the season. But if we spread it all in the beginning, we don't have any dollars left later in the season, when we really need to make some of these applications. We're seeing that fertility is a season-long adventure.”