In a year of challenging weather conditions, it can be tough enough to maintain plant health, much less gain a yield bump. That’s why 2013 will go down in the record books for Chris Scheer.
“That was such a year of extremes,” said Scheer, who raises corn, soybeans and hogs in eastern Iowa near Lowden. “Our crop had a rough start when we got nearly 7 inches of rain in one shot in June. Then we got no rain in July and August until Labor Day.”
This was also the year when Scheer decided to try Generate® from Agnition, a Ralco brand, on some of his acres. He conducted strip trials on 10 acres of corn-on-corn and 10 acres of soybeans.
“I grind about two-thirds of my corn into livestock feed and want to ensure high-quality products for my hogs,” said Scheer, who has a 40-sow farrow-to-finish swine operation and raises premium pork for Niman Ranch. “I also use Ralco feeds and like the fact that they take a scientific approach, so I was willing to try Generate®.”
Generate® stimulates microbes for enhanced crop performance. By making soil microbes more efficient, Generate® makes fertilizer more efficient. It’s also a safe product that’s easy to apply, said Scheer, who noted that Generate® gave his crop a boost right from the start.
“You could see how Generate® helped the crop manage stress, because the corn was greener throughout the growing season. We also did root digs, and you could see more root mass, as well as more fine roots, on the corn where Generate® was applied.”
More root mass allows the plants to take up more nutrients, Scheer added. “This helps you get the best benefit from your fertilizer investment. That’s all money in your pocket.”
Generate® helps fill the wagons faster
Scheer was even more impressed with Generate® at harvest. Not only were the kernels larger, compared to the non-treated acres, but the yields were, too.
“I could see a difference as soon as I hit the Generate® acres and was shocked when I saw the yields. I was expecting 170 to 175 bushels per acre, but the Generate® corn was up to 205 bushels.”
Not only did Scheer fill his wagons faster with corn treated with Generate®, but he also saw positive results on his soybeans. They exhibited more nodules during the growing season and yielded at least one extra bushel per acre at harvest.
Generate®’s benefits on a variety of crops, even in a challenging weather year, made it easy for Scheer to decide to use the product on more acres in the future. “I’m definitely looking forward to using Generate® again. It helped my crop do better in tough conditions. If it stands out that much in an extreme year, it will be interesting to see what it can do in a normal year.”