Frequently Asked Questions
We pulled together a comprehensive catalog of the most frequently asked questions we hear – everything from how our microbes work to using Pivot Bio in the field.
About Pivot Bio
What is Pivot Bio's Vision, Mission, and Purpose?
Our vision is to transform agriculture by eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizer. In a volatile world with a growing population, pressure on natural resources, and unpredictable weather, we deliver farmers a way to grow the food the world needs reliably and sustainably. This is our mission and purpose.
What does Pivot Bio do?
Founded in 2011, Pivot Bio is a sustainable agriculture company delivering farmers patented crop nutrition technologies that harness the power of nature to reliably and productively grow the food the world needs in the face of increasing volatility. Synthetic nitrogen is one of agriculture’s leading contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Our products are a breakthrough innovation and among the industry’s most promising climate solutions because they deliver nitrogen to plants without the negative impacts of synthetic fertilizer.
What is Pivot Bio's annual revenue?
In FY23, Pivot Bio generated over $100 million in annual revenue. This was enabled by 95%+ Net Revenue Retention (NRR) from its 2022 grower cohort and 190%+ NRR from its 2020 and 2021 cohorts.
How widespread is the use of Pivot Bio's products?
In 2023, Pivot Bio products were sold and used on five million acres of U.S. farmland.
Is Pivot Bio a public company?
Pivot Bio is a private company, funded through private investment, most recently through a $430 million Series D fundraising round in 2021.
Can I invest in Pivot Bio?
Thanks for your interest in Pivot Bio! We had a successful Series D fundraising round in 2021 and do not have additional investment opportunities at this time. You can sign up to be notified of company news here.
Work With Pivot Bio
How can I work with Pivot Bio?
Thanks for your interest! You can find our career/internship opportunities here.
How do I see the status of a job application?
We appreciate your patience as our team carefully reviews and responds to each application that is received. If it's been longer than two weeks, you can reach out to our Talent team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I become a sales rep for Pivot Bio?
Please click here to learn more about selling Pivot Bio products.
Does Pivot Bio have agronomists that farmers can work with?
Yes, Pivot Bio has a full team of agronomic professionals throughout the country dedicated to working directly with our farmer customers.
How do I find my local agronomist?
Our agronomists directly work with the territory sales managers and sales reps to ensure their agronomic needs are met. The agronomist’s assigned areas align closely with our territory sales managers, sales reps, and customers, so the agronomist can focus on local needs related to nitrogen management. Your sales rep should be able to assist with finding an agronomist in your area.
Does my Pivot Bio sales rep also serve as my agronomist?
Our agronomy team is separate from the sales team and they represent our commitment to serving customers. All agronomists have industry experience and training in agronomy. They are responsible for developing our sales rep’s skillset in the nitrogen space.
In what states are Pivot Bio products approved for use?
Pivot Bio products are approved for distribution and use in 47 U.S. states, with the exceptions being Alaska, California, and Hawaii, and are sold through our network of independent sales representatives. To find your local Pivot Bio independent sales rep, click here.
Where can I purchase Pivot Bio products?
All Pivot Bio products are sold through our network of independent sales representatives. To find a rep near you, click here.
Can I purchase Pivot Bio products for use outside the U.S.?
Currently, Pivot Bio products are only available for sale in the U.S.. We continue to work toward expanding sales of our products to other countries. If you’d like to be notified about product availability, sign up here.
Does Pivot Bio have purchase minimums?
For Pivot Bio PROVEN 40 On-Seed and RETURN On-Seed, we require a 125-acre minimum purchase, with no incremental acre requirement. If you are purchasing the liquid in-furrow version of Pivot Bio PROVEN 40 or RETURN, the minimum purchase is 40-acres worth of product, which much be increased in 40-acre increments.
General Product Questions
How are Pivot Bio's products different from synthetic fertilizer?
Our crop nutrition technologies harness the power of nature to deliver nitrogen to plants. Our nitrogen is manufactured in the North America, safer to handle and does not runoff into streams or cause climate pollution, all while generating a higher ROI for the grower. Partnering with Pivot Bio, growers achieve better profitability and predictability while using one of the most powerful on-farm climate change mitigation tools.
How is Pivot Bio different from other biological companies in agriculture?
Not all biologicals are created equal, and no one is delivering the kind of results growers are experiencing with our products.
A critical differentiator is that Pivot Bio manufactures microbes that fix nitrogen, allowing farmers to reduce the amount of synthetic nitrogen they have to apply per acre. The company’s team of advanced scientists and researchers identified nitrogen fixing microbes naturally present in the soil, enhanced their strengths by reprogramming key base genetics, and rigorously tested their efficacy in numerous field trials across the U.S.
Other products are either commercialized, naturally-occurring microbes or stimulants for the billions of microbes in the soil, hoping they can achieve similar outcomes without enhancing their strengths.
Another key differentiator is Pivot Bio's route-to-market through one of the largest direct-to-farmer ag distribution networks in the U.S. and we are adding new independent dealers every day.
Are Pivot Bio products certified organic?
Our products are not currently certified Organic™. In order to be certified by the USDA as organic, a product’s entire manufacturing process, including all formulation ingredients, must meet specific standards. While our current products do not meet these criteria, our team is working on developing products that would qualify as organic.
What is NLIGHTEN and is it available to me?
Pivot Bio's NLIGHTEN System supports growers that want to invest in in-furrow equipment that can be used with Pivot Bio liquid in-furrow products. Learn more about the NLIGHTEN System here
Does Pivot Bio use gene-edited microbes?
While Pivot Bio edits gene microbes to enable certain microbes to convert nitrogen from the atmosphere and produce ammonia continuously, the changes made are all done within the microbes’ own genome. We do not introduce genes from other organisms. Our edits focus only on the nitrogen-fixation pathway.
Do Pivot Bio’s microbes get into the food supply?
Our biofertilizer has been tested above and beyond existing regulatory standards to ensure its safety, and we conduct regular tests to verify that it does not enter the food and feed supply.
How does your biofertilizer work?
Put simply, we have identified microbes that are a natural component of corn’s specific microbiome and that contain the genetic code for nitrogen fixation. We have removed some of the constraints of that biological nitrogen fixation so that our microbes and corn plants both benefit from a symbiotic relationship, wherein the microbes feed off of sugars from the plant and provide nitrogen to the plant. Learn more about the science behind our products on the Our Science Page.
Is PROVEN® 40 only available in liquid form?
What crops does Pivot Bio support?
We currently offer two products. Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 is available for corn and corn silage. Pivot Bio RETURN® is available for spring wheat and small grains (including sorghum, barley, millet, oats, sunflower). We continue to explore ways to expand our product to other crops. You can sign up to be notified about new products here.
How can I be sure about the efficacy of your products?
We stand by our products with a Nitrogen Assurance. We also support our farmers with on-farm visits and strong customer service to ensure they get the most benefit possible from using our products. To learn more about product performance, check out our in-plant nitrogen study here.
What happens if I have to replant my crop?
We know farmers often deal with adverse weather conditions or events that require them to replant a crop. Our team is committed to your success. If you have to replant, please reach out to our Customer Success Center at 877-451-1977, or email email@example.com to find the best solution to suit your needs.
How do I use Pivot Bio products?
Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 and RETURN® are available both on-seed and in-furrow. The product you choose will determine the application method, but both are applied at planting, without the need for an additional pass.
How do I handle and store Pivot Bio products?
Because every Pivot Bio product is a living organism, it must be handled with care to ensure efficacy. Please click here for more information about product stewardship.
What's the recommended per acre application rate of Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 or Pivot Bio RETURN®?
To help our growers know the exact amount of Pivot Bio PROVEN 40 to add to their tank, we put together the PROVEN Tank Mix Calculator. Check out this video on how to get the correct amount of product into your tank.
Does it take a dedicated pass to apply Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 or RETURN® in my field?
Whether you are using PROVEN® 40 On-Seed or in-furrow, or RETURN® On-Seed or in-furrow, you are able to apply Pivot Bio's microbial fertilizer at planting. No additional passes are needed.
Do I need to apply PROVEN® 40 or RETURN® every year?
Yes, you will need to apply your Pivot Bio products when you plant any new crop, as our microbial nitrogen associates with the root and the microbes don't persist in the soil. Our microbes are living organisms that form a symbiotic relationship with the plant - they feed off the sugars from the plant and provide the nitrogen to the plant in exchange. When the plant begins senescence or is harvested, it no longer feeds the microbes, which can't survive without an energy source.
If I increase my PROVEN® 40 rate, will I see even greater yield increase?
There are no benefits to using more product than recommended. Our Customer Success team can help you determine the best application rate for your operation. They can be reached at at 515-436-4462, or toll free at 877-451-1977. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do I apply PROVEN® 40 and/or RETURN®?
Pivot Bio products are designed to be applied at planting, either on-seed or in-furrow. This eliminates the need for additional passes, fuel and time in the field.
Can I apply PROVEN® 40 or RETURN® to an emergent crop?
In order for our microbes to survive and be in direct contact with the root, they must be applied at planting, either on-seed or in-furrow.
How can I be sure if the microbes are still alive?
Pivot Bio performs a rigorous quality control on all of our products, storing them in the same packaging you receive on the farm and testing them at different intervals. This helps to ensure that by the time you plant our products with your seeds, they are alive and ready to go to work making nitrogen for the crop. Learn more about Product Stewardship here.
Is Pivot Bio microbial nitrogen safe to use?
The microbes in our products are common plant-associated soil bacteria. We have conducted multiple assessments to ensure our products are safe. Like most agricultural inputs, our products must be handled according to the thorough use guidelines we provide to our customers to ensure they have a safe and successful experience with our products.
How does on-seed work for Pivot Bio products?
Pivot Bio On-Seed products work with any corn or small grain seed. When you are ready to plant, your Pivot Bio sales rep will use our proprietary process to apply a fast-drying coating of the product directly on the seed, with no negative impact on the integrity of the seed or flowability. Once the seed germinates and the roots grow into the soil, the microbes adhere to the root structure where they remain all season, providing consistent nitrogen to the plant.
Where can I learn more about product performance and research?
Pivot Bio tests its products every year in hundreds of internal trials in 13 states (and counting!) across the country. Results of this research is published each year on our website. We also work with leading academic institutions and independent researchers to design structured trials with protocols that reflect on-farm conditions and are stewarded according to label directions, resulting in high quality data the agricultural community can rely on. You can learn more about their findings here.
What impact do Pivot Bio products have on yield?
Pivot Bio collaborates with multiple universities on structured trials demonstrating how our breakthrough technology delivers on our product’s promise to reduce dependence on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and increase profitability, predictability, and sustainability without compromising on yield.
Studies confirm Pivot Bio’s microbial nitrogen efficiently and reliably replaces up to 40 pounds of synthetic nitrogen per acre while maintaining or improving yield.
How can I talk to a live representative?
Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, contact our Midwest-based team of product experts at the Customer Success Center at 515-436-4462, or toll free at 877-451-1977. You can also email us at email@example.com.
How do I report an issue with a Pivot Bio independent sales representative?
We appreciate you letting us know your concerns. Please call us at 1-877-495-3777 so we can work with our internal team to investigate and take appropriate action.
What is nitrogen fixation?
Nitrogen fixation is the process by which the two nitrogen atoms of inert nitrogen gas are recombined with other elements to produce compounds such as ammonia, nitrates, or nitrites. As part of these reactive compounds, nitrogen can help support plant growth.
What are biologicals?
Biologicals in agriculture refer to a diverse group of products developed from naturally occurring microorganisms, acids, sugars and other organic matter. Biologicals include plant nutrition products (biofertilizers), plant growth enhancement products (biostimulants), and plant protection (biopesticides).
What's a biofertilizer?
Biofertilizers are composed from microorganisms that, when added to the soil, increase soil nutrients and fertility and stimulate plant growth. Pivot Bio's biofertilizers feature a naturally occurring soil bacterium/microbe that fixes nitrogen in an existing symbiotic relationship with corn.
What's a dead zone?
Dead zones, scientifically refered to as "hypoxia", refer to low oxygen areas in waterways and oceans caused by nutrient pollution. When fertilizers runoff from fields into waterways, those nutrients feed microscopic algae instead of corn. The algae feed off the excess nutrients, becoming massive algae blooms. Dead zones form when the algae die, sink to the bottom, and are decomposed by bacteria—a process that strips dissolved oxygen from the surrounding water and suffocates other living organisms.
What's the Haber-Bosch process?
Named after German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, the Haber-Bosch fixes atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia using intense heat and pressure to separate the nitrogen atoms and recombine them with hydrogen. Developed in the early 1900s, this process relies heavily on fossil fuels to create the nitrogen fertilizer used on many cash crops, and on other plants that farmers grow around the world.
Are Pivot Bio product genetically modified?
Pivot Bio will never create products classified as a GMO in any market. While Pivot Bio edits gene microbes, the changes made are all done within the microbes’ own genome. We do not introduce genes from other organisms.
Are your microbes organic?
The active ingredients in Pivot Bio PROVEN®40, Kosakonia sacchari 6-5687 (Ks6-5687) and Klebsiella variicola 137-2253 (Kv137-2253), are derived from naturally occurring, nitrogen-fixing soil commensal microbes that provide crops like corn with readily available nitrogen for root uptake. Ks6-5687 and Kv137-2253 strains are not products of transgenic modification methods (GMOs) and contain no transgenes or foreign DNA in their genomes. However, these strains were generated through intraspecies genetic editing to enable increased ammonia availability to the crop. The NOSB has yet to make a decision on the acceptability of gene-edited microbes. Pivot Bio believes our nitrogen-fixing products will be a benefit to the organic market and hope to achieve an organic compliant formulation to support organic growers in the future.
How do you know the nitrogen from your microbes is not contributing to nitrate leaching or N2O emissions?
Scientists at Pivot Bio have spent over a decade testing and fine-tuning our microbial nitrogen products in the lab and on-farm so that farmers can trust our product will deliver nitrogen to crops and make farming safer and more sustainable, without contributing to excess nitrogen loss. Since then, we’ve partnered with more than 20 land-grant institutions over the years to gather data from independent research that examines different performance measures of our product. We partnered with Iowa State University (ISU) to examine how PROVEN 40 increases efficiency for farmers. This research demonstrated that increased nitrogen application rates resulted in increased nitrate leaching and higher cumulative nitrous oxide emissions. However, the trial blocks that were treated with nitrogen and PROVEN 40 lost less nitrogen than the blocks treated only with nitrogen fertilizer. The microbes in PROVEN 40 significantly decreased leaching, by an average of about 9 lbs. nitrogen/acre, according to the university data obtained in this study.