Biome Makers recently hosted a webinar on Input Performance Verification & Recommendations. Senior Agronomy Field Sales USA, Al Toops, and Senior Agronomist USA, Jacob Parnell, were joined by Crop Manager at Yara North America, Devin Clarke, to examine and discuss the effects of Yara’s fertigation program on almond crops at its Incubator Farm in Modesto, California.
Devin enlisted the help of Biome Makers and our BeCrop® Technology to provide a complete biological analysis of the subsoil terrain, comparing the effects of different nutrient management strategies on the microbiome of his crop fields.
“Soil biology really is critical as a building block for all of the downstream processes that ultimately relate to yield and productivity,” said Devin, commenting on why he felt it was important to engage Biome Makers in the process.
What is BeCrop® Technology?
BeCrop® Technology from Biome Makers is a proprietary DNA-sequencing program that uses the world’s largest taxonomic database of over 10 million microorganisms to identify the different active components of a microbiome.
The prevalence of certain microorganisms provides insight into how the soil and crops will react to different fertilizer inputs. We can also see which nutrients a plant is consuming easily, which nutrient pathways are blocked, and we can predict a crop’s risk profile to various pathogens.
BeCrop® Technology provides key insights to increase crop yield and quality, improve soil health, and reduce farm costs.
What Were the Results of Yara’s Crop Trials?
Yara was assessing the outcomes of its MyAlmonds Program. The MyAlmonds Program is a high frequency/low volume strategy that essentially spoon-feeds the trees the exact amount of nutrients they require.
Yara and Biome Makers ran four different BeCrop® Tests throughout the early 2021 growing season to gauge the effects that the MyAlmonds program was having versus the Baseline Program.
The Baseline program is a static program of N from UAN-32, K20 from SOP, and includes NPK+ZN foliars during development as well as K+Zn and B foliar at hull split. However, the MyAlmonds Program was more dynamic and proactive, tailored to crop demand curves. It was designed to address deficiencies before they occur with an intensive regime e.g., high frequency/low volume strategy. There were 16 fertigation events to deliver nitrogen versus 4 other programs. The MyAlmonds program is the most comprehensive nutrition management strategy Yara promotes.
We found that the MyAlmonds nutrition management strategy triggered significant changes to microbial diversity and functionality. There was a substantial increase in mineral mobilization, Auxin and Cytokinin levels rose, and bactericide and insecticide potential benefited as well.
Potassium and phosphorous solubilization improved by 63%. This increased uptake was very welcome news for Devin and his team. Phosphorous is habitually one of the most difficult nutrients to feed into a plant successfully.
BeCrop® Technology also uncovered a bit of a mystery for Yara. Over the previous two years, they had noticed an 11% improved nut set in their plants on the MyAlmonds program, without understanding exactly what was causing this improvement. The BeCrop® Test discovered that these trees had a significant increase in hormonal production – particularly abscisic acid, gibberellic acid, and oxen production – that could help to explain the improved nut set.
“There are these mechanisms that we haven’t had any line of sight on as to why this is happening, just being able to note that it is happening. We continue to uncover additional ways of detecting the mechanisms behind this, and that’s where the BeCrop® analysis has been really helpful,” said Devin.
You can find more information and the full report of results in the webinar.
What is the Value of BeCrop® Technology?
As Devin told us in the webinar, BeCrop® Technology allows you to take advantage of every dollar of inputs that you apply to your fields.
BeCrop® Technology reveals information about your soil’s microbiome that other testing methods fail to capture. Equipped with expert knowledge, farmers can be more precise about the inputs they add to their fields.
Targeted strategies are particularly important with today’s high fertilizer prices. To remain profitable, it is crucial to be as efficient as possible with inputs. A BeCrop® Test uncovers which products are best suited for your fields, and precisely how much of them to use, and it will ensure that your crops are able to digest everything you give them.
Contact Biome Makers today and together we’ll improve the health of your crops and your farm’s bottom line.
Watch the full webinar with Yara NA and Biome Makers >>