Renewable Farming

7.5 bu. per acre soybean yield increase with “Lignition” foliar growth promotant

Yesterday, Sept. 17, a soybean grower west of London, Ontario, harvested his test and control fields in an on-farm demonstration of Lignition, a product we’re testing for the second season.

Untreated soybeans yielded 55 bushels per acre.

Soybeans foliar-sprayed with 50 grams per acre of Ligniton yielded 62.5 bu. per acre.

The 7.5-bu. gain, at $11.75 per bu. (Canadian), was worth $88.13 per acre.

On Sept. 24, two other reports came in from Ontario: Gins of 4.7 and 5.7 bu. per acre on soybeans. This was in large strips, with foliar application of Lignition.

We’re anticipating some Canadian foliar application results using Lignition in combination with WakeUP.

Some of the most enjoyable ventures we do when working with WakeUP in our test fields is to measure the response of biologically friendly growth promotants and fertilizers applied in combination with WakeUP. 

Lignition is one of the most promising and versatile products we’ve seen in eight years of field trials. Lignition is extracted from lignin, using a proprietary process involving a series of intensive treatments. The result is a dry concentrate which captures phenol and carboxyl compounds which are the essence of known growth promotants found in humic and fulvic acids of active humates.

The Canadian developer has been very cautious about pushing this product into the U.S. market. He is developing extensive on-farm trials. He provided us a summary of replicated yield results on several crops. 

Here are some examples, all from Canada:

Winter wheat: Seed treatment, 10 bu. per acre gain.

Corn: Seed treatment, 26 bu. gain.

Soybeans: Seed treatment, 6 bu. gain.

Field peas: Foliar treatment, 12 bu. gain.

Here are some U.S. trial results:

Corn, Michigan: Seed treatment ranging from 50 to 150 grams per ton of seed, 15 to 20 bu. per acre.

Soybeans, North Dakota: Seed treatment, 2.8 bu. per acre.

We conducted extensive strip trials with Lignition on corn in 2014.  Averaging 15 control strips and 11 test strips, the combination of Lignition and WakeUP Summer showed a 32-bu. gain. We would have doubted our own results, had we not seen the developer’s random-rep results from trials over the previous several years.

Soybean field trials were less dramatic in our on-farm trials — around 2.5 bu. per acre yield increase when Lignition was foliar applied around V4 and V5.

We have another 24 strip trials on corn this season. Typically we like to see the performance of a product over three seasons, because weather conditions can have a huge influence on outcomes.

Several growers are working with us on testing Lignition.

We are looking for winter wheat growers to try some replicated trials for 2016 harvest — using Lignition as a seed treatment this fall, and following up with foliar applications.   Just call us at 319-240-1904 for more information.

Researchers and farmers have long known that humates contain growth promoting compounds. This is why we’ve seen so many versions of humates on the market in recent years. In our own field trials, humates and seaweed combined have shown clear-cut yield results.

A majority  benefit of Lignition is that it’s completely soluble and very versatile. You can use it in seed treatment, with fertilizers and with foliars of all kinds.

Here are some comments from the developer as of early 2014. This helps explain the science. 

Making a “humic” product from lignin, a non-humic-containing raw material, is a radical shift. It is where the patents lie.

Lignin contains naturally constructed functional groups. These are clusters of molecules that confer the activity of specific compounds built into the parent material, lignin. We manipulate these functional groups of the lignin raw material by heat, pressure and added oxygen. The key functional groups are the carboxylic group (-COOH) and the phenyl hydroxyl (-OH) group.

We analyze for the content of the functional groups in our finished products. There are more -OH groups; and the pH will be higher when our product is put into solution.

The -OH group, termed the phenols (phenyl- hydroxyl) are very active in plant physiology. These groups have several key effects in plants.

Phenols act as a seed catalyst when added to seeds. We see this every time. Phenols have a role as an auxin co-factor: They support auxin activity, and creation of auxins. More auxins meant more roots.

It is theorized that phenols also slow the auxin reductase enzyme activity that breaks down auxins in the plant. That helps maintain higher auxin levels, and more growing point activity.

We have analysed our products for the constituent functional groups, as well as the molecular weight distribution, to document the fulvic acid vs. humic comparisons made during manufacturing. To do this is expensive: we use a proprietary lab in Utah to do this analysis. They are the experts.

The products we work with are natural plant-based compounds, and when used with growing plants they can add to the plant’s existing growth pathways. That is why a series of sequential applications made over the crop seasonal cycles is so effective.

This what we understand today.  We learn every day! 

Published Sept. 18

Updated Sept. 24