The US corn crop is in trouble, and each year the problems seem to increase. Bio Minerals Technologies, in partnership with Central Iowa Agronomy, has introduced a Healthy To Harvest program that can help reduce many of these problems, providing corn farmers with harvests of up to 300 and potentially 400 bushels per acre, without significant disease or pest losses. Best of all, we can do it naturally to help you reduce your chemical dependence and chemical inputs (not to mention chemical bills).
Watch the video below for an introduction and overview of our Healthy to Harvest program. The details of the program are outlined below the video.
HEALTHY TO HARVEST Program Outline
Shooting for 300 or even 400 Bu/A of nutrient dense corn.
Soil and plant health does matter and is crucial to success.
‘Let your food be your medicine.’- Hippocrates
In order to maximize your crop yield, it is important to understand the plant's nutritional needs. As you can see from the chart below, different elements are required in varying amounts throughout the corn growing cycle.
The nutrient volumes shown in the chart reflect a yield target of 400 bushels/acre. If your yield target is lower, your nutrient requirements will also be lower. You can contact Bio Minerals Technologies for custom nutrient requirement calculations based on your field's yield targets.
The table below provides a quick outline of the Healthy to Harvest program with greater detail in the following sections.
|1 Week Pretassel||Harvest
Late Sept/Early Oct
|Test compaction in the soil <300 psi||Seed treat
|Bio Empruv 24 oz or 32 oz w/ Argosy|
|Tissue test P and Zn, Mo||Bio Empruv 8 oz with Argosy RF||2-4 quarts of Seed Set||3/4 to 1 gal Bio Release on corn residue - till under|
|Gypsum if Mg in BS is > 20%||Mo 4 oz
|Micro Nutrient foliar, Mo & Co
|If Corn Borer, add deterrent||Reduces residue
Promotes beneficial microbes
|Use cover crops||Starter Micros
Zn, Co, Mn, Mo, Fe
| Dry N Stabil
|Side dress N w/ Mo, P with Y drops Mo||1 gal NH4 slow release||Kills pathogens|
|Update old soil tests||Adding biology in furrow||Sulfate post tassel||Stabilize N
Kugler -KQ XRN
|Haney test several fields and PLFA||Split apply N||Check CRW||or||Could apply compost mineral|
|If S is low, AMS||Take Off / Seed||Scout insect damage ECB||1 gal Fish Hydrolysate||tea with Bio Release on residue|
|Plant soil temp rising||Stabilized Urea for NH4 post tassel|
- Test soil compaction with penetrometer: above 300 psi roots are restricted, test during the fall season.
- Ameliorate with inline deep tillage to needed depth; adding biology w/food into the soil will increase soils porosity, tilth and reduce re-compaction. Microbes need oxygen as well as a carbon based food source.
- Apply Gypsum if the Mg base Saturation percentage is greater than 20%.
- Plant cereal rye or multiple species cover crops to increase soil porosity and increase microbial species and populations (planting is typically the fall before; termination cover crop is spring).
- Update old soil tests; include Base Saturation levels, with approximately 1/3 of these new soil sampled being tested for micro-nutrient levels. Determine the best methods of application.
- Designate several representative fields for soil analysis using the Haney Test.
Another sophisticated test is that of PLFA or poly lipid fatty acid. This types the microbes into different categories. (ie: ciliates, flagellates, amoeba).
- If sulfur is needed add ammonium sulfate (AMS) to meet nutrient demands for yield goal. 90% of Sulfur is needed post tassel.
- Designate several representative fields for soil analysis using the Haney Test.
- Apply any seed treatment deemed important. Trichoderma species do a great job. Consider mycorrhizal inoculants as well on lighter or low P soils, or where drought is expected or common. Pseudomonas should be applied where the P2 is more than 25% higher than P1 Bray test levels and where Fusarium or other root rot problems exist. Soil Biology Boost contains 12 groups of highly beneficial microbes such as Azotobacter than fix N, mycorrhizal that fix P, pseudomonas, bacillus, trichodermas that fights pathogens and many more; includes 75 or more micronized minerals for better germination.
- Apply micro-nutrients (Zn, Co, Mo, Mn, B, Fe ) to increase germination, vigor, early growth and nutrient uptake to the seed or apply in-furrow. ABM’s Excellorate or Verdesian’s Tuxedo are formulated to do this.
- Apply nitrogen fixing bacteria in the Azotobacter families to capture atmospheric N
- Apply microbes that promote nutrient release.
- Stabilize the P in starter fertilizer using a designated and proven stabilizer. (BioRelease or Avail) Be sure Co is included plus Mo where soil test levels are low. 1 gallon Bio Release will stabilize up to 15 gallons of 10-34 or 11-37 type products.
- Fine-tune N program to where applications timings match periods where uptake is high. Apply use 10-15 gal of 32% in 2 X 2 for early root uptake. Stabilize to keep more in the ammonium form. With liquid N, use up to 2 oz Mo/ acre.
- Consider applying ‘Take-Off’ to the seed or applied as a foliar. It is a newly discovered signaling compound that directs nutrient uptake and partitioning.
- Plant when soil temps are on the rise and are near 50 degrees or higher. Make sure the soils are dry enough to allow traffic without causing more soil compaction.
- After emergence, tissue test to verify sufficient P at .42 ppm or higher. If soil tests for zinc are <3.0 ppm - broadcast ZnSo3, apply 1-2 pints in-furrow or foliar apply 1-2 pints by the V4 growth stage. Deficiencies cause smaller ear size.
- Apply any need post emerge herbicide. Conventional herbicides create fewer mineral deficiency problems. If any Round Up is applied add 1 quart of Glyphonix & Argosy RF. Use Argosy based on total foliar volume: 5 gal/ac foliar use 1.60 oz; 10 gal/ac use 3.20 oz; 15 gal/ac use 4.80 oz and 20 gal/ac use 6.40 oz Argosy RF.
- Tissue sample and analyze leaf samples at V5-V7 for micros. Include Moly in some of the analyses since it is deficient 95% of the time and is crucial for N uptake and use efficiency.
- Apply micronutrients such as Micro-mix ; also 1 gal/ac of Ca Nitrate to add energy to the plant.
- V8 – V12 If early dying corn has been common or you see caramel colored lesions on the lower stalk apply 8 oz of Bio Empruv with .25% Argosy as a foliar. Argosy application rates above.
- Apply 32% nitrogen side dress with Y drop or coulter applicator, or making an application of 46% with a tall tired dry box spreader. Add a stabilizer with both. Consider using Nutrisphere, sulfur fertilizers or humate products. Add 2 oz Moly to facilitate uptake of any applied N. This will help keep the N in the ammonia form at tassel to help combat the Clavibacter bacteria. You can use a total of 4 oz Mo in the soil with your N.
- Check for CRW (corn root worm) feeding weekly if the field has a history of root worm feeding or beetle counts the previous season were >1/plant. If feeding is occurring at V6-V10 apply Safestrike (from GreenSpire Inc, Des Moines, IA) as a foliar.
- Scout fields for insect damage. Fields planted to conventional hybrids need to scouted for ECB by an examination for shotholing of unfurling leaves with the first brood. The second brood typically reaches higher numbers and is detected by scouting for the small fish scale appearing egg masses on the underside of the five middle leaves next to the midrib. Spray if the infestation reached the published treatment thresholds: If 25% of plants show shotholes from the first brood in mid-June; Second brood, in late July to mid August, treatment is needed if 15 to 20% of the plants hold egg masses.
- Make second application of micronutrients and WakeUp at V9-V12 if leaf streaking symptoms persist. Another round of tissue sampling may be needed. If second application of Round Up herbicide is applied, use 1 quart Glyphonix.
- Apply 2-4 quarts of Seed Set (17 ingredient mix) foliar one week before tasselling to add energy to the plants for pollination and fertilization. Include 24 oz of Bio Empruv with .25% Argosy RF as a foliar to maintain a high level of plant health and lengthen fill time by 20 to 30%. If the 8 oz of Bio Empruv was not made at V8- 12 application use 32 oz Bio Empruv pre-tassel V15- V18. This timing will permit most high clearance sprayers to make this application without getting the radiator plugged with pollen sacks or having the boom too low. BE is totally systemic and lasts 2.5 to 3 months. It is also non-toxic and creates no neurological hazard.
- If Corn Borer threat exists and economic thresholds are reached, add in an insecticide or deterrent with the BioEmpruv mix.
- Apply 1 gal/ac ammonium based N w/slow release as a liquid foliar (21% N) tank mixed with Bio Empruv and Argosy. This would be Pt-21 or Kugler’s KQ-XRN.
- Apply 1 gal Fish Hydrolysate / acre as part of the foliar; it provides amino acids and additional nutrients which will help increase bushels / yield as plant moves into reproduction. The amino acid form of N is much more efficient at this stage of plant growth than elemental N sources. Will achieve more bushel corn using less actual units N.
- Apply 3 to 4 quarts Bio Release to corn residue with at least 10-15 gal of water and disk into soil for fall / winter /pre-planting decomposition of crop residue and pathogen reduction. Consider setting up a tank equipped with an air pump and a brew bag filled with Denali Gold, using Bio Release and Bio Phos minerals to make your own mixture of compost mineral tea to aid in the process of residue digestion and pathogen control. This same mix could be used as the liquid carrier for planting time or in-season applications. Two applications over two seasons have shown they can raise Haney scores into the low teens. Recipes for compost mineral tea and brewing equipment details are available upon request.
Bio Empruv is not a ‘silver bullet’ approach to disease or fertility management. Bio Empruv is part of a well-managed crop nutrient program that can increase the plants ability to withstand disease and increase yield and quality by living to maturity and filling the kernels with minerals and nutrient density. Bio Empruv will not replace minerals if they are not adequate for a desired yield. Bio Empruv can support mineral utilization but those necessary minerals must be available for the plant throughout the growing season to continue growing to maturity and filling kernels. Bio Empruv is not an insecticide or a pesticide, it is a biological product that can help boost the plant's immune system and help sustain plant functions.