BIOLOGICALS FOR PLANT AND SOIL HEALTH: ARE YOUR PLANTS "EATING HEALTHY"?

Franklin Weaver

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So we’ve all made this New Year’s resolution before -- to eat healthier, to lay off sweets or fried foods. And it would be great to cut down on calories, but did you know researchers agree the biggest gain would actually be in your gut?

That’s because of millions of bacteria in our digestive systems that play a powerful role in everything from weight gain to determining risk for everything from diabetes to heart disease and cancer. Those bacteria feed off of healthy foods; the more they get the healthier you’ll be and the longer you’ll live.

Ag research has found that the same is true for crops in the field, and if you can boost the right bacteria for the right plant and soil combination, you can dramatically boost yields.

Biologicals for big yields and plant health

I’ve worked within the biologicals arena for the past 7 years and am happy to say that it biologicals are becoming an increasingly big part of conversation around efficiency and value on the farm. You might see a lot of definitions out there for the term “biologicals,” but in my mind it’s the field of ag science dealing with living organisms that are bacterial or fungal and occur naturally in the soil.

Much like you want to do in your digestive system, the goal with a biological ag application is to boost the amount of these naturally-occurring microbes in order to enhance nutrient uptake and increase the plant’s natural defense system.

The result is a plant with a much larger root system, earlier and more robust development, better ability to fight off drought and disease, and more organic matter left behind for the following crop. And all of that contributes to increased yield.

A Path to Plant Health

When applied at the right time and rates, IntelliFarms’ biologicals products and programs have shown the ability to increase soybean yield by over 20% based on field trial studies. And custom programs can be developed for a variety of crops, including corn, soy, wheat, barley, cotton, sorghum, barley, peanuts and more.

As the technology advances farmers have the ability to reduce other chemical use, which could result in lower costs, less chemical runoff, and less nutrient leaching.

For farmers and producers, biologicals are a value-added proposition. I’d recommend making a New Year’s resolution to check out this powerful emerging technology. They can provide a healthy return on investment today and in the future.

Tomorrow we’ll be hosting an event in Scranton, KS to discuss opportunities with Biologicals in more detail and share localized case studies. We look forward to these in-person opportunities to share this information because it allows us to hear first-hand the questions and challenges that are out there and helps us better serve the needs of today’s farms. If you are ever interested in attending or hosting a discussion on biologicals, please don’t hesitate to contact me at fweaver@intellifarms.com or 816.509.4378. After several years working with this technology, I am a huge believer and advocate for what it can do to strengthen the independent American farm.