What To Look For In The Early Stages

Shelby Fite - MS, CCA

Shelby Fite - MS, CCA|May 24th, 2024

What To Look For In The Early Stages

Shelby Fite is part of the second generation of Mann Farms, a grain farming operation in Jackson Center, Ohio. You can see her on RFDTV’s Top Crop.

Increasing early season root growth is a priority for our operation. There was a time when I worried more about how the plant looked above ground.

While that’s still an important indicator of plant health, I realize I need to use the shovel more often to check what’s happening with the plant underground. Sometimes, the hardest part of farming in Ohio is getting that seed off and out of the ground.

A main focus of Mann Farms is researching in-furrow products to help mitigate the first bit of stress the seed encounters. Pivot Bio, coupled with other products, allows us to give that plant a healthier start, and has also been good for our bottom line.

When Pivot Bio was first commercialized, we were concerned that the microbes might not be able to survive in some of the common anaerobic soil conditions in Ohio. We learned that is not the case. After testing the product in seven counties, we found the results positive in all soil type variations we operate on.

We farm in a little bit of sandier, river-bottom ground, and this is where the microbes shine. I never imagined we would see a predictable form of nitrogen on the ground that has been known to leach. Talk about environmentally friendly!

If we continue to increase yields, more nutrients will have to be added, which is a topic that is sometimes hard for the public to understand. Farmers commonly get the brunt of the blame for the watershed issues in the Midwest. Pivot Bio is a game-changing tool in our toolbox. I’m proud to say that we use Pivot Bio on our farm. We’re not only increasing yields but also being mindful of the environment.

Pivot Bio has increased early season root growth (root systems have not only appeared bigger, but we have been able to increase the number of fine roots as well), the green coloration of the plant (creating more chlorophyll inside the plant), produced stronger plant architecture and better tip-fill at harvest. Bettering these physiological components leads to increased yields and a nice ROI when the combine runs. Additionally, we quantified findings with the help of our Pivot Bio agronomist. Mid-season increases in chlorophyll content and wet weight were also measured.

I believe Pivot Bio can fit any operation. If you believe nitrogen is a limiting factor and want to supply additional pounds or replace up to 40 pounds of traditional nitrogen in your nutrient management plan, Pivot Bio is an excellent product for your farm. For the best way to use Pivot Bio on your farm, consult with your Pivot Bio rep or Commercial Agronomist.

I know of other growers who replaced 40 pounds of their standard nitrogen with Pivot Bio and experienced yield increases even though their total nitrogen rate stayed the same.

Pivot Bio allows you to get ahead of nitrogen loss before it begins. I no longer consider a nitrogen rescue treatment if conditions turn off too dry or too wet. I know our Pivot Bio is supplying a continuous dose of nitrogen. Pivot Bio is that extra punch that has allowed us to go from growing good corn, to great corn.

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