One of the most talked about inputs within the agriculture sector, and appears to be exploding onto the scene, is biologicals. Major dollars are being spent on research and development to provide biological agricultural products to improve farming, conserve natural resources while protecting our environment, and provide crop protection to improve plant health or productivity – all in the name of food sustainability. The pressure is on to feed our future population by producing more agricultural outputs with less inputs.
Biological products can have many names, but often are referred to as microbials. These products are made from natural solutions such as microbes (bacteria or fungi), plant extracts, beneficial insects, or organic matter. There are several categories of microbials including biostimulants, biopesticides (biocontrol), biofertility, and bioyield enhancers. All of these can either improve nutrient uptake, promote growth and yield, or provide insect control and disease protection in the form of topical solutions or seed treatments.
|Enhanced effect on roots and plants from Burrus biological components.|
Burrus’ not so talked about secret is that we too have a biological in both our corn and soybean PowerShield® seed treatments. The Burrus biologicals can be classified as bioyield enhancers deemed compatible with the already existing fungicides and insecticide. Two biological components enhance plant performance and yield potential by improving root vigor and nutrient uptake by stimulating rhizobia to help maximize nitrogen fixation and increase nutrient uptake, which improves overall plant performance. There are not only biological components, but also a special polymer with a unique colorant to improve seed treatment retention. This polymer also reduces dust off, provides uniform seed treatment coverage, delivers a high-quality appearance, and improves seed flow for uniform stands.
The biggest challenge has been finding biological products that provide a rate of return. The Burrus biologicals within our PowerShield soybean seed treatment has proved that it can provide larger root systems, increase leaf nutrient concentrations, and overall, increase yield potential by enhanced nutrient uptake after many greenhouse, plot, and on-farm trials across the Midwest. Combined trial results show, on average, a 2.4 bu/a advantage with PowerShield over untreated soybeans. If soybeans are worth $9.50, that could equate a return of $22.80 on each acre with a $13 investment to purchase PowerShield. So remember, we have fungicides, insecticides, and the Burrus biologicals included in our PowerShield soybean seed treatment, making it a super, premium choice!