Get More from Your Soil: How Adding Biostimulants Can Help

In the not-too-distant past, do-it-yourself auto mechanics approached every oil change with a yellow bottle of STP, an engine additive that improved lubrication by reducing heat and wear. STP wasn’t oil, but it made the oil work more effectively. In the same way, growers facing sky-high fertilizer prices should consider starting every nitrogen application with a biostimulant. It’s not nitrogen, but it does make your nitrogen fertilizer work more effectively.


Get More from Your Soil: How Adding Biostimulants Can Help

How Biostimulants Work

Growers know that soil health is one of the most important indicators of overall yield and that a leading indicator of soil health is the microbial population in the soil. As organic matter breaks down, all sorts of good things happen. One of the most important benefits is the release of previously unavailable nutrients. Studies show that up to 80% of the soil microbes are dormant, meaning that they aren’t breaking down the nutrients, and those nutrients aren’t making their way to the root zone, where they can actively help plants grow.

Research shows to make better use of fertilizer inputs, enzyme reactions need to occur inside and outside of microbes to release these tied-up nutrients. Think about it this way: If microbes can’t breathe (aeration) and don’t have nutrients (carbon and nitrogen), they don’t grow. And if the microbes don’t grow, they don’t release tied-up nutrients in the soil.


To assist this process, some biostimulants work by promoting enzymatic activity essential to breaking down the main component of plant matter—cellulose. Improving the efficiency of the breakdown of plant material means more of these tied-up nutrients are released. More nutrients available to the plant means better emergence, stronger stands, and ultimately, higher yields.


Growers must take caution when reducing tried and true fertility programs. Growers who are forced to reduce nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or potassium (K) rates ­because of costs or availability issues with fertilizer are ideal candidates to adopt in-furrow biostimulant applications. Biostimulants can profitably increase yields. Although it’s not fertilizer, it makes your fertilizer work more effectively.


How Agnition Helps Growers Cut Fertilizer and Increase Yield

Our proven biostimulant Generate® has been shown to double cellulosic activity, increasing the availability of macro- and micronutrients. Phospholipid Fatty Acids (PLFA) analysis conducted on soils treated with Generate showed an 18% increase in the total biomass of microbes in the soil, increasing the availability of nitrogen by 18%, and the availability of phosphorus, potassium and manganese by 10%–12%.


Did Generate increase yields? In 2-year trials in the Midwest, replacing starter fertilizer with Generate improved yields by an average of more than 3.5 bushels per acre. In separate corn-on-corn rotation trials, using Generate in combination with NPK increased total yield by 9.44 bushels-per-acre with standard NPK rates, and by 7.45 bushels-per-acre when NPK was reduced to 75% of normal.


See the difference Generate can make on your farm. Try now with our No-Risk Trial Program!