Technology Signals Crops to Take Up More Nitrogen
Yield increases captured in multi-year field trials from technology that creates nitrogen “hunger pangs” in plants
Farmers can now use an advanced technology that speeds up the rate crops use and process nitrogen (N), resulting in more vibrant growth, improved yield potential and a reduced environmental impact from nitrogen applications.
The technology – Take Off® from Verdesian Life Sciences – has been tested in field trials conducted by South Dakota Wheat Growers (SDWG), a major agricultural retailer and provider of agronomic services to corn, soybean and wheat growers across the Northern Plains. Preliminary results from these trials indicate the technology provides respectable yield increases and an improved return on investment for farmers from their nitrogen applications.
“When we have applied Take Off to corn in our trials, we’ve seen more vigorous plants that are a richer green with visible differences,” says Brad Ruden, director of agronomy technical services at SDWG. “The treated corn is often one full growth stage ahead of the control, and these benefits can be observed throughout the growing season in terms of improvements in tassel timing, the size and height of ears, rows of kernels and kernels per row.”
Ruden and SDWG have been testing Take Off technology for three years, as well as reviewing performance data for the technology from other sources. “What’s really exciting is this technology performs well in corn, soybeans and wheat,” the agronomist says. “To have a product that works well across our three major crops – that just doesn’t happen very often.”
Not only does Take Off work across a variety of crops, it also can be applied in a number of ways, allowing farmers to apply Take Off when it’s most convenient for them. To date, SDWG research trials have examined use of Take Off applied in conjunction with nitrogen managers or stabilizers, as well as the technology applied alone as a foliar spray in tank-mix treatments for over-the-top applications of post-emergence herbicides, micronutrients, fungicides and other foliar sprays. Take Off can be tank mixed with all treatments with no adjustments, saving farmers a trip across the field, and can also be applied as a soil- or seed treatment.
“When we’ve applied Take Off to corn following use of a nitrogen manager or stabilizer, we’ve seen some yield increases in the five-or-more-bushels-per-acre range,” Ruden says. “I believe this yield increase is the result of making more N available to the plant and making the plant more efficient at processing that N. We also see a respectable yield increase when applying Take Off alone without a nitrogen stabilizer or manager preceding that application.”
Ruden notes that Take Off is already a solid performer in the soybean market, as the technology is featured in Preside CL®, a premium soybean inoculant from Verdesian that is providing some nice soybean yield increases, with Preside CL showing nearly a five Bu./A advantage compared to no inoculant. “We also see positive results from our research trials with Take Off in wheat,” he says.
In addition to offering stronger plant growth and increased yield potential, Take Off technology also helps reduce the environmental impact of nitrogen applications when applied alone or in tandem with a nitrogen stabilizer or manager. “When crops do a better job of taking up N and converting it to grain, that leaves less N in the soil subject to off-site movement into waterways and groundwater,” Ruden says.