From the Farm: Biostimulants

Agriculture

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — With high fertilizer prices and lack of available supplies next spring, farmers may be looking for help in raising a profitable yield.

Biostimulants will help boost the efficiency of your fertilizer, if you are applying less than normal for next year’s crop. That is the finding of University of Illinois Crop Physiologist Connor Sible.

“We always want to get the most out of our fertilizer per pound and the situation we are seeing this fall, we may not be applying as much,” said Sible. “Biostimulants can help keep that fertilizer available. Or help that plant build a better root system. To explore the soil and find the fertility we have put out there to give more efficiency per pound of fertilizer.

How does it do that

“There are two categories…,” said Sible. “If biostimulants spring applied, they are going to build the root system to go find the fertilizer. But other biostimulants, if you pair it with the fertilizer, keeps it from sticking to your soils and makes it more plant-available.”

Banding is a key to this. “Very much so, if you think of an in-furrow band. It concentrates the product right there to give you a very good zone of activation,” said Sible.

But how do you know what you need? “Always start with: What’s your goal. If you are focused on phosphorus management, we’ll start there. If you are focused on nitrogen management, then find a biostimulant that will help you with that,” Sible said. “Most retailers have some sort of biological. Just ask and talk to them about what they have available. make sure it will fit with your system.”

It seems like an opportunity to retain some of your yield if you happen to be putting on less fertilizer, or cannot get it in this next spring.

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