While many seed treatments act as a defensive measure to protect crops, biologicals offer an opportunity for farmers to go on the offensive. Biologicals are a family of products derived from natural material such as plants, microbes, or beneficial fungi and bacteria.
Bio-enhancers are a category of biologicals that help improve conditions to protect plants from stress, including making nutrients more available for increased nutrient uptake and enhancing functional root volume.
“Bio-enhancers are a recommended agronomic component for farmers because no two seasons are alike,” says Kelli Brown, North America Acceleron portfolio manager for Bayer. “You can’t predict what the season has in store, but you can prepare for it.”
The newest bio-enhancer offering from the Acceleron portfolio, BioRise 2 Corn Offering, is a complementary addition to an already robust portfolio, Brown says. This dual-action, on-seed offering increases a plant’s functional root volume and increases nutrient availability, helping protect it against stress caused by lack of nutrients and moisture. It has two powerful but separate products, including a beneficial fungus and an innovative LCO signal molecule.
“First, Acceleron B-300 SAT [Penicillium bilaiae] makes better use of your fertilizer dollars, helping to release phosphate bound in the soil,” Brown says. “Then, Acceleron B-360 ST increases the plant’s functional root volume, using a proprietary LCO molecule to stimulate a naturally occurring soil fungus called mycorrhizae. These beneficial fungi bind to corn roots, promoting a living connection between the roots and the colonies of the mycorrhizae, helping the plant access additional water and nutrients.”
The offering saw favorable results at on-farm strip trials conducted in Missouri and Iowa in July. “At the strip trial location in Camden Point, Mo., we performed a root dig and found that corn plants treated with the offering saw enhanced functional root volume — due to mycorrhizal colonization — and increased root depth, as compared to plants without the offering,” Brown says.
When does a bio-enhancer pay?
So, when is a bio-enhancer necessary? In what conditions do they pay off? Bio-enhancers are essential in periods of plant stress, Brown says. They can be particularly helpful during times of:
Drought. When a growing season is particularly dry, you need every drop of water. Mycorrhizal colonization helps bring additional moisture to your crops.
Floods. When soils are saturated, air space in the soil is filled with water, killing off beneficial microbes. Bio-enhancers help supply beneficial bacteria and fungi after these environmental impacts.
Nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies can impair root growth, making it even harder for plants to get the nutrients and moisture they need. Bio-enhancers increase the availability of key nutrients and water, which are critical for plant growth.
Brown says the BioRise 2 Corn is included as part of a four-part offering, along with fungicides, insecticides and nematicides, so farmers can be ready for whatever the season has in store. The offering is included on all class of 2017-, 2018- and 2019-base Bayer genetics, including Dekalb and Channel seed brands.
For more information about bio-enhancers and the Acceleron portfolio, visit acceleronSAS.com/BioRise2.