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2019 Crop Tour Testimonies – Second in Series

DEERGRO REVIEWS
Professional hunters, hunting enthusiasts, biologists, and expert food plotters alike have all tried and reviewed DeerGro’s PlotStart and PlotBoost. Check out the reviews and video testimonies on the benefits experienced by real customers of DeerGro! 

 

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“While I can’t comment on the impact to soil PH in subsequent years after first application (since this is the first year I used PlotStart), I can tell you that post-planting soil tests confirmed its PH adjusting powers, and most importantly, I experienced vigorous bean and corn growth right out of the gate and through the growing season, in spite of below-average June rainfall in my region of central Illinois..”
Mike Carney

 


“Been using DeerGro products for about the last 4 years and it has exceeded my expectations. Will never use traditional lime and fertilizer on food plots again. Highly recommend DeerGro to everyone. One thing that I love is that you can mix PlotBoost right with RoundUp and kill two birds with one stone. It is very simple to apply. That is one of the best parts of this products. My food plots look 10x better since I started using the products and are luscious and green thanks to DeerGro!”
Michael McKenzie | Monster Game Management

 


“DeerGro worked great for us last season. It was the first time using the PlotStart and PlotBoost and it was very easy to use. I was surprised how much PlotBoost increased the growing of the plot! Great stuff and I’ll be using it every year!”
Chris Coniglio

 


“I hunt pine plantations with sandy and acidic soil in Southwest Louisiana. Not prime for growing much of anything. During every seeding, I have used PlotStart and followed up with PlotBoost a few weeks later. Mind you, none of the soil I’ve planted has been worked before or planted in any way. On one of my larger plots last year I only treated half to see if I could see a difference…oh yeah. Seeing in believing. I believe so highly in DeerGro and I think it could greatly benefit hunters like myself without access to lime and fertilizer spreaders and not willing to plan 6 months in advance.”
Louisiana Bowhunter

 


“I’m very happy with DeerGro. I’ve only used the PlotStart thus far but plan to use additional DeerGro products in the future. PlotStart was easy to use and really jump started my seed growth. Just days after plating I already had new growth coming up. A few of my food plots are hard to get to and having PlotStart really alleviated trying to get truckloads of lime and fertilizer in there. I’m so glad you made a great product. I’m looking forward to having a healthy deer herd. Thanks, DeerGro!”
Matthew Davis

 


“We had great results with DeerGro. We used PlotStart on just about every plot we planted last year. We manage two farms and continue to use PlotBoost throughout the summer. We mixed it with Glyphosate when we were spraying Soybeans for weeds, it worked great. Definitely planning on ordering more this year when needed. Great products in our opinion.”
Genesis Outdoor Management

 


 

DeerGro Benefits:

 

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2019 Crop Tour Testimonies – First in Series

Jamie Watts – Western U.S. Dealer – shares several video testimonies from growers across Idaho on some of the advantages they are seeing from using AgriGro Prebiotics in their 2019 crop production.

 

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“One of the benefits I’ve seen is the tank mixing capabilities, I can throw it in with my insecticides and fungicides and accomplish a lot of things all at the same time.”
Baxters Nursery

 


 

“I took my inputs down 25% less than last year and I’m still seeing as good or better crops than ever.”
Josh Rice Farms

 


 

“Having seen the results first hand I would say it’s a very, very, good product.”
Baxter Nursery

 


 

“It’s made the plants more leafy and fills in to where I don’t get the weeds coming in those spots.”
Thane Caspersen – Organic Alfalfa

 


 

“The pumpkins took off and grew faster and yielded more than they ever have before.”
Josh Rice Farms

 


 

Grower testimonies throughout Idaho, U.S.

 

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Cover Crops for Enhancing Soil Health and Crop Production

While there is still plenty of the growing season ahead of us, it is never too early to start thinking about maintaining the health of your soil in the offseason. This is especially true if you went the route of prevented planting versus late planting due to the flooded soil conditions that plagued much of the Midwest earlier in the season. Diverse, rich soil and cover crops are two important components to success and in today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at each of them. Let’s get started. 

 

The Importance of Biodiverse, Rich Soil Life

As a primary function of agriculture operations, soil biodiversity is necessary for successful and sustainable growing seasons. This careful balance of natural ecosystems within the soil can have a large impact on yield and so it only makes sense that you’d want the best soil life possible. So how do you gauge the biodiversity of your soil? The following conditions could indicate something is off: 

  • Increased pest infestation
  • Increased weed pressure
  • Evidence of plant diseases
  • Slow seed germination
  • Plants with stunted growth
  • Changes in the soil structure itself
  • Crop residue buildup 

Tips for Achieving Biodiversity and Richness

 

Encouraging biodiversity might seem like a monumental undertaking, but there are a few things you can do to help ensure optimal soil health. Three of these include:

Rotate the Crops You Plant

If possible, avoid continuous crop production of the same plants year after year. Growing different crops prevents excessive nutrient depletion and reduces soil erosion while increasing soil health and crop yield. Additionally, alternating between deep-root and shallow-root crops can improve soil stability and prevent recurring pest infestations.

Use Prebiotics and High-Quality Crop Products

In the absence of sufficient food, soil microbes are unable to build up resources and reserves during the fall and winter for optimal soil health in the spring. Using prebiotics and fertilizer treatments like  IgniteS2® and IgniteS4® to feed microbes allows you to:

 1) increase soil porosity and expedite soil aggregation, and

 2) stimulate microbial activity in order to breakdown crop residues in preparation for the next seedbed. 

 

Plant Cover Crops

Cover crops are those plants that are grown with the specific intent of protecting and enriching the soil. This is especially recommended for those growers who were impacted by the unprecedented flooding in the Midwest in Spring 2019. When paired with high-quality prebiotics and fertilizer treatments, cover crops are a great way to sustainably and effectively revitalize nutrient-lacking soil.

Why Plant Cover Crops?

There are several benefits to planting cover crops. A few of them include: 

Reduced Instances of Fallow Syndrome

Letting your field be fallow in the offseason might be tempting, but it can prove problematic and result in Fallow Syndrome. This condition is caused by reduced amounts of certain fungi which can impact a plant’s ability to take up nutrients like phosphorus and zinc. In turn, this can cause stunted plant growth. Planting cover crops can help reduce the likelihood of future crops being affected by Fallow Syndrome.

Enhance Soil Health and Fertility

Cover crops help to improve the quality of your soil in many different ways. First, the physical and biological health of the soil is improved, as is water availability. Planting cover crops is also an excellent way to suppress weeds that would otherwise take over fields that are left fallow. Some cover crop roots can even break up compacted layers of soil, which makes it easier for the roots of subsequent crops to develop to their full potential.

Provide Nutrients for Subsequent Crops

In addition to enhancing soil health and fertility, cover crops also increase levels of organic matter in the soil. This is a sustainable means of providing nutrients for subsequent crops, further enhancing the quality of the soil by providing residues that are readily available to be used by soil organisms. Selecting the right type of cover crop based on subsequent crops needs is important to maximizing the benefits of this planting practice.

Prevent Soil Erosion

Soil is more prone to erosion when there are no crops planted in it. Land that is allowed to be fallow in between planting cycles or growing seasons is especially susceptible to washout. Not only does erosion change the layout of your land, but it also robs the soil of essential nutrients that plants need to thrive. Planting cover crops reduces the severity of erosion and can even enhance soil health when crop fertilizers include treatments and additives like IgniteS2® and IgniteS4®

Break Pest Cycles

Crop pests can cause incredible amounts of destruction and financial devastation to even the most established commercial agricultural operation. These infestations may be more likely to occur when the same crops are planted over and over again, as they supply an almost endless food source for the problem pest. Planting cover crops can help break the cycle of troublesome insects, birds, rodents, and other pests that plague your crop production.

Seasonal Cover Crop Tasks

What can you do each season to ensure your cover crop planting endeavor is a success? The checklist below offers helpful insights and tips.

Spring

  • Consider which crops will facilitate early seeding for your fall cover crop
  • Perform soil tests on pH level, organic matter, and biodiversity to serve as benchmarks for later comparisons
  • Determine how and when you will terminate your cover crop

Summer

  • Test water for nitrite levels and record findings for later comparison
  • Test soil for compaction and water filtration, recording your findings

Fall

  • Plant cover crops as soon as possible after harvest
  • Record crop yields during harvesting

Winter

  • Educate yourself on cover crops, soil health, and soil biology
  • Identify the worst erosion areas and set long-term goals
  • Fine-tune your cover crop plan
  • Line up seed, equipment, and other necessities for planting cover crops
  • Check into cost-sharing with the Natural Resources Conservation Service

Boost Soil Health and Crop Yields

Are you searching for ways to enhance soil health in the offseason after harvesting your cash crop? Maybe you have noticed a decrease in yield and suspect that soil health is to blame? AgriGro® offers prebiotics, fertilizer treatments, and other crop products that can help enhance your cover crop efforts while boosting the soil’s biodiversity. Locate an AgriGro® dealer or contact our team to learn more about the science behind our products.

 

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Diversity and Richness in the Soil

 

“Anytime an imbalance of species start to occur within the soil, a new set of challenges begin to emerge.”

 -Tim Tesreau  |  VP of Agronomy & Technical Support

 

Just as diversity is healthy for a well rounded society it is also true below the soil’s surface. Anytime an imbalance of species start to occur within the soil a new set of challenges begin to emerge. Some of the symptoms may include increased insect infestations, plant diseases, stunted plant growth, slow germination, increased weed pressure, and even changes in the soil structure. 

Any of these issues will contribute to lower yields and less profit. 

What are some things we can control that could help alleviate issues related to a lack of diverse soil life?

    1. Avoid keeping fields in continuous, same crop production year after year. Avoid continuous corn, beans, rice, wheat etc. Rotate crops.
    2. Change up your chemical weed controls, especially if not rotating your crops.
    3. Evaluate your soil nutrient balance. Many weed species are reduced by balancing the soil. Plant diseases may also be addressed by ensuring that minimum levels of essential nutrients are available outside of the standard NPK.  Soil test for all macro and micro-nutrients.
      • For example, are sulfur levels kept as high as your phosphorus levels? They should be. 25 to 30 ppm of sulfur per acre is just as important as maintaining 25 – 33 ppm of P using an M3 extraction as a minimum.

    4. Soil microbes are fed from the exudate of plant roots. Are you leaving any living roots once you harvest your crop? Are the microbes building resources and reserves during the fall and winter for you next spring?  If not, you need to be considering how to use microbes to your advantage.
    5.  

       

      Residue Management

      One of the symptoms of a lack of diversity and richness in soil life not mentioned earlier includes crop residue buildup. If you are seeing stubble, cobs, stover, etc. left from the prior year’s crop, then you have an untapped source of nutrients you can draw from in the future by adapting some of the following suggestions to increase microbial diversity and richness.

        • Work towards balancing your soil cations to give the best air to water ratio for soil life. Think of it like tuning an old carburetor to have the proper fuel to air ratio for maximum horsepower. Calcium controls the amount of air in the soil and magnesium controls the water retention. With calcium lacking you have less air and therefore less oxygen for life. Too little magnesium and water is not retained in the soil. Too much magnesium and you have a sticky wet soil and aerobic microbes starving for oxygen.
        • Use a prebiotic to feed the microbes, such as IgniteS2 , FoliarBlend or Ultra. Supply additional carbon when needed. Testing back in 2001 by the Gene Research Institute indicated AgriGro products increased the gaseous rate in soil by 25% as well as increasing soil porosity and expediting soil aggregation.
        • Plant multiple cover crops to maintain many different types of roots to build up a diverse population of microbes and to reduce surface soil erosion.
        • Spray harvested crop residues with AgriGro prebiotics and any lacking nutrients, such as AgriCal liquid calcium to stimulate microbes and breakdown plant material in preparation for the next seedbed. 

         

        Check out this study from the University of Missouri released in early 2019 which reveals FoliarBlend’s Impact on soil health by increasing native microbial richness and diversity.

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Milo and Winter Wheat – Forty Five Percent Yield Increase

 

This repost from December 19th, 2012 is just too good to leave behind. Check out how one Texas Farmer received a 45% yield increase over the control plot by applying FoliarBlend® three times throughout the growing season.

Some exciting news on dryland milo production comes from Jay McKee, farm manager, Strickland Farms in Nevada, Texas. McKee is eager for next year’s crop in both milo and winter wheat after a successful run with FoliarBlend® in 2012.

In one trial, McKee reported that where three pints were used (16 oz. in furrow w/starter, 16 oz. at 3 leaf stage w/sidedress, and 16 oz. at initial heading with pesticide) the yield increase was 2,250 lbs better than the control for a final harvest of 7,250 lbs/acre, a 45% yield increase over the control plot, which yielded 5,000 lbs/acre. Strickland Farms produce 3,000 acres of milo each year, averaging 5,000 lbs/acre in a good year. This year Jay incorporated FoliarBlend® into his fertility program on 600 acres (all planted at the same time using Golden Acres 3552 seed, and 10-34-0 starter fertilizer).

Clearly the 45% yield increase speaks for itself. Jay describes the results as “fantastic” and says they plan to apply FoliarBlend® to every acre on the farm next season. With results like these, Jay is doing what’s best for his crop, his ground, and ultimately his bottom line. Jay also reports that crop quality was vastly improved and the milo matured faster, which is to be expected when normal plant development is not hindered by nutrient deficiencies. While all crops in the area seemed to mature quicker this year, harvesting two weeks early did not reduce or compromise quality. Finally, Jay reports that the acres treated with FoliarBlend® showed a consistent test weight of 63-64 lbs, compared to a 58-59 lbs test weight on the control.

Jay conducted an additional study using FoliarBlend® on winter wheat last season as well, and wanted to see if he could improve on the 60 bushel average that is typically harvested in the area. Part of his trial was using FoliarBlend® on wheat following milo and corn, hoping to utilize some of the leftover nitrogen from the previous crop. The results were as follows:

Treatment Yield (bu./acre) Bushel Increase % Yield Increase
Check Plot (followed corn) 72
Check Plot (followed milo) 78
1 pt./acre applied once (followed milo) 84 6 8.0%
1 qt./acre applied once (followed milo) 103 25 32.0%

One final rain shower for the crop was needed toward the end of the season to give it that extra boost, but it never came. However, the quart/acre application was very impressive, a 32% increase over the control check plot!

Jay was very happy with the results of this trial and is modifying this year’s fertility program by incorporating 1 pt./acre IgniteS2® at planting, followed by 1 pt./acre of FoliarBlend® in late January with his traditional fertilizer program. A third pt./acre will be applied at the beginning of March. Jay is considering reducing his nitrogen rates on part of his acres to determine if there can be a reduction in inputs without compromising yield. We’ll keep you posted on Jay’s trial!

Continuing since 2012, AgriGro is gaining ongoing research and studies that show how important it is to create and maintain momentum throughout the growing season by applying IgniteS and FoliarBlend.®

We are proud of our many growers like Jay who after many years with AgriGro are still using our products and continuing to see benefits to their soil,  plant health, yield, and profits.

DON’T WAIT… Finish your 2019 season strong!

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