High yields don’t happen by accident. Just ask Ben Van Jaarsveld, manager of 3B Farms near Gettysburg, SD
“I’m always looking for ways to get more yield, but I’m skeptical of products that make big promises,” said Van Jaarsveld, who farms in north-central South Dakota.
When he heard about Generate® from Agnition, he was intrigued, but unconvinced. “It sounded too good to be true,” admitted Van Jaarsveld, who questioned whether Generate® could stimulate beneficial microbial activity to free up nutrients in the soil and consistently boost crop yields.
Still, he decided to try Generate® on 240 acres of corn in eastern Potter County in 2012. He applied the liquid product in a foliar application when the corn reached the 5- to 8-leaf stage. “Generate® is mixable with everything, and it’s easy to work with,” said Van Jaarsveld, who has used the product with herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.
Getting to the root of the issue
Within a matter of weeks, the results were visible. “You could clearly see a difference in the leaves and the rest of the plant,” said Van Jaarsveld, who noted that the corn treated with Generate® was taller than the untreated acres.
He also saw visible results during a root dig. The corn with Generate® had a much bigger root mass than the untreated corn. “The Generate® corn’s roots spread out farther and grew down deeper,” he said. “This definitely makes it easier for the plants to take up more nutrients.”
The acres with Generate® impressed Van Jaarsveld even more at harvest. After a violent windstorm ripped through the area just a week or two before harvest, the corn treated with Generate® displayed less ear drop and less lodging, which made combining the crop much easier.
Higher yields from the Generate corn also made combining more enjoyable. In an area where the typical dryland yield is 115 to 120 bushels per acre, Van Jaarsveld saw yield bumps ranging from 3.5 bushels to 24 bushels per acre, thanks to Generate®.
Fields show consistent yield results
These results prompted Van Jaarsveld to try Generate® on 400 acres in 2013. The product showed its value when the rains dried up in late July and August, and there was little to no subsoil moisture. “The corn with Generate® stayed greener longer, which was an advantage during those tough growing conditions,” Van Jaarsveld said.
The results spoke for themselves at harvest. While some of the fields with Generate® were 12 to 15 miles apart, they all showed a yield increase that ranged from seven to 11 bushels. “We saw consistent results where Generate® was applied,” Van Jaarsveld said.
Healthier soil was an added benefit, he noted. When the 2012 corn acres with Generate® went into confectionary sunflower production in 2013, Van Jaarsveld saw a 200- to 300-pound-per-acre yield increase in sunflower seed production.
For 2014, Van Jaarsveld plans to apply Generate on at least 12,000 of the farm’s acres in South Dakota and on 2,500 acres of the farm’s operations in south-central Montana. “I’d encourage other growers to quit wondering about Generate® and just try it,” Van Jaarsveld said. “It won’t break your budget, and you’ll be happy with the results.”