How to "Bio-Ensure" corn and soybeans against hot, dry weather

We're seeing farmers' interest in microbes proven to help crops cope with hot, dry weather. For good reasons. Today's lead AgWeb feature: "As Heat Builds, Current Drought Conditions Already Exceed Devastating 2012 Season."

June 14, 2021  Fortunately, we can provide you two foliar-applied, drought-buffering products for crops. They're live fungi and bacteria which weren't available in 2012.

We've studied and tested Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies "endophyte" organisms for three years. Below you'll see links to a succession of articles we've posted. The takeaway: For $7.70 per acre in product cost, plus a foliar spraying trip, you can "Bio-Ensure" that your corn and soybeans are much more able to recover from dry stretches than they would without it. 

The fungi, Trichoderma harzianum, is labeled BioEnsure. It's supplied in a liquid solution at a rate of one-tenth of an ounce per acre when foliar-applied. Retail price is $56 per fluid ounce, or $5.60 per acre. 

The diverse blend of bacteria is labeled BioTango. It's delivered as a dry soluble powder. All you need is one gram per acre when foliar-applied. Retail price is $2.10 per gram, or $2.10 per acre. 

These are tank-mixed for foliar spraying. Total product cost per acre: $7.70. Extensive field trials by AST indicate that even if there's no weather stress, these biologicals bump yields enough to provide a positive net over cost.

We coordinate with an Eastern Corn Belt distributor of BioEnsure and BioTango who tells us that his farm and customers have applied the AST endophytes on 15,000 acres, and are pleased with what they're seeing early this season. He says his customers include organic growers. BioEnsure and BioTango are OMRI approved organic.

Weathercasters anticipate cooler temps and some rain across parts of the Corn Belt after this weekend, June 19-20. But crops are growing rapidly, and the top foot of soil in our high-quality prairie soils of Black Hawk County and Grundy County "need rain," to quote one of our neighbors who just offered to bale some hay for us. He mentioned a contractor friend: "He dug a basement for a new house; told me the soil was dry all the way down nine feet."

Update June 19, 2021: The website VisualCapitalist.com just posted an animated "show" which makes a movie from USDA drought maps of the past 20 years. You can watch the video at this link.  Note that drought often starts in the Southwest and migrates into the Midwest. For a closer look at any year, you can stop and start the motion by placing your cursor over the image and clicking your mouse button. You might want to pause the animation in July 2012 and remember what that was like. (But maybe you'd rather forget.)

Update June 14, 2021:   

This morning, Market analyst Mike Jubinville of Glacier Farm Media's MarketsFarm service reported:

"The promise or hope of improved rainfall in the driest areas of the US Midwest forecast for this weekend and into the start of next week has weighed heavily on the corn market in recent sessions...but it is rain that has to materialize. If the forecasted rains for next week hold together over Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, it will go a long way toward stabilizing crop conditions and keeping trend yields achievable in those areas. But much of the western and northwestern Corn Belt (ie Dakotas) will only see limited precip chances the next 7-10 days."

A side note from Jerry Carlson: Longtime friend Mike Jubinville is one of the best ag market analysts on the web. For many years he published "Pro Farmer Canada" which is how we became acquainted. If you want a concise, well-written and daily analysis of all North American key crop price trends, try a free trial of MarketsFarm.

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Follow these links to get background facts on BioEnsure and BioTango. Call, text or e-mail us for information or ordering.  You can foliar-apply during the vegetative stages of corn and soybeans... but please don't wait until corn looks like pineapples and can't metabolize any foliars!

 

July 9, 2020: Ways to help corn and soybeans endure a hot, dry July - August stretch

You can read midsummer field observations of crops in 2020 treated with BioEnsure and BioTango, compared to untreated crops. 

 

August 5, 2020:  Growers are quickly adopting this biological product to withstand weather stress

Rodney Rusza, farmer and cowman in Walworth County, South Dakota, sent us photos and field data on how he has used BioEnsure to cope with dry weather the past three years. This includes pasture as well as row crops.

 

March 16, 2021 Winter experiment indicates that BioEnsure helps corn tolerate soggy spring soil

 An Indiana farmer whose land often remains soggy in the spring used growth chambers and grow lights to test how well BioEnsure and BioTango conferred stress resistance on corn.

April 30, 2021How BioEnsure and BioTango help your crops endure dry summer stress

The fungi, Trichoderma harzianum, is labeled BioEnsure. It's supplied in a liquid solution at a rate of one-tenth of an ounce per acre when foliar-applied. Retail price is $56 per fluid ounce, or $5.60 per acre. 

The diverse blend of bacteria is labeled BioTango. It's delivered as a dry soluble powder. All you need is one gram per acre when foliar-applied. Retail price is $2.10 per gram, or $2.10 per acre. 

Total product cost per acre: $7.70. Extensive field trials by AST indicate that even if there's no weather stress, these biologicals bump yields enough to provide a positive net over cost.

 

July 28, 2020 I have a great crop coming. How can I hang onto yield through a dry August?

In 2020, a few growers were encountering dry weeks, and sprayed BioEnsure/BioTango on corn. Result, as reported by Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies president Rusty Rodriguez -- Significantly higher yield over untreated corn.

September 30, 2020  Stress-relieving endophytes, BioEnsure and BioTango, showed promise again this dry season

One of our innovative WakeUP clients in north central Iowa foliar-sprayed BioEnsure/BioTango on soybeans in early August. The article at this link shows a yield map with evidence that treated beans hung onto pods and kept filling even though the farm had only 0.2 inch of rain in July and August. 

 

August 26, 2020   Corn in foliar-applied BioEnsure field trial enduring well

By late August 2020, corn in central and eastern Iowa was mostly brown; no longer filling kernels. But this BioEnsure field still had green leaves upon reaching black layer.

 

March 11, 2021  Root-building biologicals are your best friend if drought hits this summer

This report describes results of some of our greenhouse trials last winter. An excerpt: "Treated corn quickly developed deep, very fibrous roots with abundant natural mycorrhizal fungi. Profuse rooting was always consistent with recovery from acute shortage of water. The photos with this report number each plant pot and each root. You can see the standing plant No. 1 and compare it with root No. 1 extracted from the pot. The treated versus untreated sets show huge differences in root mass. We gently shook dirt from the roots, rather than washing them clean, so you could see how well soil clings to the roots. That's an indication of how prolific the root hairs and mycorrhizal fungi grew in the 48 days since planting.

 

May 3, 2021 Historic highs in corn and beans? Foliar-feeding this way helps protect yields

This article emphasized getting an early start on protecting yields as crop prices accelerated with massive exports. Example:

"If low-rainfall stress intensifies in June and early July, you can still foliar-apply BioEnsure and BioTango. The endophytes quickly colonize in your crop, and confer stress-tolerant capability to hang onto yields. In our greenhouse last winter, we tested this ability to recover from wilting after foliar spraying with BE/BT."

 

February 17, 2021  Concerned about a dry summer? These "endophytes" help crops tolerate stress

This report showed photos of some of our greenhouse "stress tests" on corn. BE/BT treated young corn kept recovering after two simulated droughts.  Untreated corn didn't.

 

February 24, 2021  If western Corn Belt drought forecast is correct, this biological "insurance" could help

This report shows details of our torture tests on corn seedlings in our greenhouse last winter. Endophytes — BioEnsure and BioTango — endowed corn with extra drought endurance.

 

 

October 12, 2020  How biologicals and extra nutrition keep corn alive longer and raise yields

BioEnsure and BioTango blend well with other yield enhancers, like WakeUP and trace elements. Agronomist/Farmer Mike Williams describes the mix he uses.

 

April 7, 2021   An inexpensive way to protect your crops against dry weather this season

This report describes a new way to apply BE/BT endophytes: Blended with a planter-box lubricant of pure talc.

 

June 8, 2021 Crop Consultant Streit emphasizes need to help crops deal with moisture stress

Bob Streit expressed concerns about potential dry weather stress in Iowa this season. Bob also handles BE/BT under his private label, Protect +.