Putting Carbon Boost to the Test Pays Off
Late Fall 2012 Interview:
Lead Agronomist, Mike Petersen just wrapped up their third year of testing FBSciences’ Carbon Boost-S™ at the Orthman Mfg. Research Farm in Nebraska and the results are impressive. The 2012 results show up to a 25 bushel per acre yield increase, netting $157.40, when Carbon Boost was applied with pre-plant strip-till. (The net profit of $157.40 per acre is based on the 25-bushel-per acre yield response, $7-bushel corn and a single 16-ounce application of Carbon Boost at $1.10 per ounce for a total cost of $17.60 per acre.)
“While the 25-bushel-per-acre increase is not as dramatic as the response of up to 53.7 bushels per acre in 2011, it was still significant,” says Mike Petersen, lead agronomist, Orthman Mfg., which is based in Lexington, Neb. “But the 2012 results with Carbon Boost in our pre-plant strip-tillage stands out because of the tough growing conditions.
“The pollination period was so dry, hot and critical in 2012,” Petersen says. “We had several days of 108° F at the research farm in western Nebraska. Around 94° F, corn goes into ‘maintain-life’ mode and slows down to a near standstill. During pollination, the corn in our area struggled significantly.”
“But the corn with Carbon Boost was healthier during the summer heat and drought,” Petersen says. “I believe the yield advantage comes from the Carbon Boost. It strengthens root production and enhances uptake of nutrients and water. All of these benefits lead to a corn plant that’s more able to withstand stresses.”
The 2012 growing season marked the third consecutive year Othman tested Carbon Boost at its research farm.
In 2011, the increase of 53.7 bushels with one particular corn hybrid from using Carbon Boost generated almost $322.2 of gross revenue, based on $6 corn. And in 2010, corn yields increased 26 and 30 bushels per acre, when Carbon Boost was applied pre-plant, Petersen says. “In 2010 we applied 8 ounces per acre, pre-plant when we strip-tilled, and then we applied 6 ounces per acre, in-furrow, with the planter and corn yields rose by 15 and 24 bushels per acre.” Three consecutive years of yield increases during varying weather conditions definitely proves that Carbon Boost works well on high pH soils in the western Corn Belt, Petersen says. Petersen went on to say; “ Integrating Carbon Boost with the pre-plant, liquid fertilizer program was easy. We mixed it in with the liquid fertilizer as we banded with our Orthman 1tRIPr strip-till machine directly under the row.”
In the pre-plant strip-tillage, 40% of the liquid fertilizer was banded at 4 inches and 60% was banded 9 inches down in the tilled strip. Dual placement is a popular choice with strip-tillers using Orthman’s 1tRIPr, Petersen says.
“Fully 75% of the farmers strip-tilling with our 1tRIPr in the western Corn Belt dual-place fertilizer,” he says. “Approximately 45%-50% of the 1tRIPrs strip-tilling in the central and eastern Corn Belt use dual placement.”
Dual placement of fertilizer at 4 and 9 inches potentially has great provision to supply corn the energy it needs at two critical periods, Petersen says.
The fertilizer at 4 inches helps corn in the first 15 days, while the corn accesses the fertilizer placed at 9 inches from 16-60 days after emergence, he says. During the latter part of the 16-60 day period, the corn determines yield by setting the numbers of rows around on the cob — the girth — and the number of kernels running along the length of the ear.
Here at Orthman Research Farm, we will continue to use Carbon Boost in 2013. In addition to the pre-plant application with strip-tillage, Mike and Mark Griffith, farm manager will carry out foliar applications with a high-clearance sprayer in mid-to-late June in time for another critical growth period for corn when the row length is determined. It is their intention to continue demonstrating that Orthman sees value in putting together a smarter agronomic system in raising the corn potential where Strip-Till is the foundation.