Renewable Farming

How late-foliar microbes helped corn endure drought stress

This is the third season we’ve seen profitable corn yield results with foliar-applied BioEnsure and BioTango, live microbial products from Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies in Seattle, Washington.

BioEnsure is an endophyte fungus; BioTango a bacteria. The photo above comes from one of our WakeUP clients in north central Iowa, who asks to remain anonymous. On June 30, he sprayed the recommended rate of BioEnsure and BioTango on corn during the V8-V10 stage. The spray solution included 2 ounces per acre of WakeUP Summer and 6 ounces per acre—a half rate—of the biostimulant Vitazyme, which Renewable Farming provided.

“I credit the yield result primarily to BioEnsure and BioTango because of its ability to enable drought stress resistance,” says our grower.

Almost a third of the 77.1-acre field shown in the yield map above is very light sandy loam. You can see how yields collapsed in the upper left of the field. Even so, the entire field averaged 229.22 bu. per acre of corn, adjusted to 15% moisture. The combine monitor settings show that 23% of the field yielded 238.03 bu. or above, 16% yielded 249.84 bu. or above, and 6% of the acres yielded 264.29 bu. or above.

This farm’s closest National Weather Service station, Ft. Dodge, IA, showed only 10.88 in. of rainfall from May through September. Total year-to-date rainfall for this grower’s nine field locations averaged 14.5 inches, roughly half of a normal year’s precipitation.

Yesterday, Darren Hefty of Hefty Bros. reported on the firm’s radio show that Heat Shield, their brand name for BioEnsure and BioTango, “really stood out” yieldwise amid a dry-stressed 2022 season.