Renewable Farming

New evidence that WakeUP enhances in-furrow nutrients and biologicals

One of the agronomic firms which pioneered the “biological farming” approach to fertility — AgriEnergy Resources in Princeton, IL — is nurturing a new in-furrow yield builder which they’ve named “Even UP.”

When AgriEnergy agronomist Ken Musselman asked if we’d field test Even UP with some random-rep trials on corn, we puzzled a bit over the name.

Ken explained it’s a foundational micronutrient nutrition product with four vital trace elements. It builds a more vigorous root system as the first roots emerge from the kernel of corn. Each kernel gets extra energy and stimulus from the in-furrow application. Thus the roots and stalks develop more uniformly. Fewer hungry plants. The objective is for every germinating kernel to emerge in the same few hours — not days apart.

Yield contest winners always stress that fast, uniform emergence leads to the highest yields because every stalk is strong and looks the same as all others. No weaklings in the row. When emergence of some seeds lags a day or two, the stragglers never get over being runts. That drags down average yield. Ken Musselman tells us that Even UP is formulated to trigger consistently timed emergence and vigorous early growth.

Ken asked us to test Even UP in a blend with one of their time-tested, field-proven biological products: SP-1. It’s a diverse combination of beneficial soil bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. We learned several years ago that WakeUP Spring and SP-1 — applied together — were compatible “partners.” Our field trials in 2013 showed that WakeUP significantly enhanced the yield gain and test weight, beyond the excellent yield benefits delivered by SP-1. (You can review our field report as a PDF at this link.)

We reasoned in 2013 that WakeUP Spring improved uptake of the nutrients which the microbes and mycorrhiza make soluble from the soil around root hairs. Very simply, the results indicated that WakeUP Spring helped roots mobilize nutrient movement, which is the same benefit it provides as a leaf-applied foliar.

AgriEnergy’s strategy: When every seed is energized and fed with both EvenUP and SP-1 during the critical early days of germination and emergence, the result should be stronger and more consistent than with either product alone.

Root mass, height and stalk diameter increase with addition of SP-1, Even UP and WakeUP

 That strategy  appears to be working well, as indicated so far in our random-rep corn plots this spring.  See the photo above. 

Ken examined our test strips, and observed that stalk diameters were larger and more uniform in the treated strips than in the control strips. 

Ken Musselman, AgriEnergy Resources

Naturally, we added one more enhancement in our trials:  What benefit, if any, would WakeUP Spring bring to the 1-2 punch of SP-1 and Even UP together? The photo below offers an early indicator.  Corn fed in-furrow with SP-1 and Even UP is taller than untreated controls, with more massive roots.  When WakeUP Spring is in the tank with both SP-1 and Even UP, there’s another gain in stalk height and prolific rooting.

We’ll have the “rest of the story” this fall, when the weigh wagon reveals any yield differences. We have six replications of each treatment, plus six control strips. In past corn yield tests, we found a couple of pounds more test weight with SP-1 and WakeUP together.  Watch for reports this fall.