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Agronomy Update January 2019

Posted on January 08, 2019

The Andersons Agronomy Update: July 2018

By Agronomist, Dave Dyson

I would like to start the new year off right by discussing the value of utilizing one of The Andersons’ low-salt, high-quality starter fertilizers and MicroCarb®:together. These two products go together like peas and carrots! The last several years’ test trials performed by The Andersons and other third parties have shown nice yield increases when these products were used in combination. The secret to success is to place these products as close to the seed as possible. The closer you place the products, the quicker the nutrients will enter the plant.

MicroCarb (figure 1) is comprised of fulvic acid, .75% zinc, .5% manganese, and .1% boron. Fulvic acids are some of the best bio-stimulant products in nature, improving the uptake of nutrients through the plant tissue. Fulvic acids are intermediate chelators. Chelates are organic molecules that attach to mineral ions like a claw, holding them tightly enough so they don’t get locked up in the soil, but loosely enough so they are available to the plant on demand. Fulvic acid has a much smaller molecular weight than a humic acid and is more biologically active. Fulvic acid not only surrounds mineral ions, it can also help transport the ions through the cell membrane and release them inside the cell. The relatively smaller size of the fulvic acid molecule is the reason it should be placed in-furrow with a high-quality, low-salt starter. Fulvic acid improves the uptake of minerals, stimulates plant growth, and improves the plant’s natural resistance to environmental stresses. In doing this, the genetic potential of the plant is protected, otherwise each of these stressors would slowly take away yield.

Figure 1: MicroCarb data sheet.

The Andersons’ PureGrade® Diamond and GoldStart® blend starter fertilizers are some of the highest-quality starters, repeatedly proving a positive effect over check strips in trials across the nation. These products not only show great returns in test plots, they are also seed safe when placed in-furrow. When a fulvic acid, such as MicroCarb, is combined with a PureGrade Diamond or GoldStart product, the observed yield is consistently greater in comparison to the check, as highlighted in the following graphs. In a third party research trial conducted in Nebraska in 2018, field conditions were reported as cool temperatures with heavy soils. The application of PureGrade GoldStart 6-24-6 and MicroCarb resulted in the early infusion of nutrients, preserving the true yield potential of the crop, thereby observing an 8.16 bu/acre advantage compared to the check (figure 2). In figure 3, Beck’s Hybrids reported a 4.4 bu/ac advantage when MicroCarb was added to PureGrade Diamond 6-24-6. Beck’s Hybrids tested this product on five sites, over four states.

Figure 2: An 8.16 bu/acre advantage was observed when treated with 5 gallons of GoldStart 6-24-6 and 2 quarts of MicroCarb compared to the untreated check. This study took place in Nebraska, 2018.

Figure 3: Becks Hybrids observed a 4.4bu/ac advantage over multiple sites and states.

In conclusion, placing nutrients close to the seed will ensure quick absorption into the plant. By adding MicroCarb to your starter, no matter if it is a 100% orthophosphate solution or an 80/20 ortho-to-polyphosphate solution, you will see an even quicker absorption of nutrients up into the plant. Time is a game we all strive to win. The quicker we can push that seed to sprout, emerge, pollinate, and finally dry down, the better outlook we’ll have for the season.


Please complete the form, and we’ll get you in touch with your Territory Manager from The Andersons. 


©2019 The Andersons, Inc. All rights reserved. GoldStart, MicroCarb and PureGrade are registered trademarks of The Andersons, Inc.

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