Harvesting Dollars: Channeling Your Crop's Energy into Making Money
10 Aug 2313 min 10 sec

Caleb, Matt and AgroLiquid's Molly Alexander talk about the program they are implementing on Caleb's peanut field, and their plan for making sure the plants focus their energy on the things that are going to make him more money.  A great conversation for all farmers and all crops.

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00:00 Here we are today in Pine View, Georgia. So South central Georgia. We're standing in a peanut field that we're looking at some trials with some 00:07 foliar fertility products. And so with peanuts here we have a base rate of fertility down with chicken litter. 00:14 But since peanuts respond very well to foliar applications and nutrients, we're looking to see which products may help us to get to our next yield level 00:23 and maybe solve some of the issues with, uh, a yield plateau that we have here. So Molly, 00:29 can you talk to us a little bit about some of the different nutrients that we're looking at here with this trial and maybe some products that we're looking at 00:36 to, uh, to fix some issues in our field here? Sure. So last year you and I talked and some tissue samples and things had showed us that peanuts kind of reached a plateau on potassium in the tissues and then it 00:47 just drastically dropped off. And so we had a discussion on how can we keep those potassium levels up in the tissues. 00:55 And so we decided that capitalize would be a really good product to try in a foliar situation. 01:00 So capitalize is a potassium source and it also has sulfur and some calcium in it too, 01:05 which we know is something that peanuts really respond well to and that they need. So that's the first piece that we put in. 01:11 And then the second part that we decided to go with was our liberate calcium, which is a liquid calcium. And we know that peanut knee calcium, 01:20 because what happens when we do everything right and we get to the end of the season and we have popped pods, we don't want that. 01:26 And calcium's responsible for preventing that from happening. So that's the first part of the lab that we did was we chose to do those two 01:34 products with your fungicide applications because we know fungicide, um, not only is it necessary in peanuts, but it also acts as a stimulant as well. 01:42 So it's gonna help carry those through the plant. And then we went a step further, did those same two products, and then we added in our Ferran product, 01:50 which has a kind of a basic M P K package and then some micros just to kind of push those peanuts past that plateau that you said that we, 01:58 So pretty much a broad spectrum approach. So we're, we're saw, we're working towards fixing a number of issues that we're seeing. 02:06 Like you mentioned, potassium is something that's really important for peanuts as well as soybeans to help boost the yields and then the calcium and not just with uh, 02:15 getting it there into the pods, but also a lot of nutrients go into the plant with calcium. Mm-hmm. So being able to provide that. And one thing, uh, 02:23 one thing that's interesting about the agro liquid products is the reason why we, we like to use them is they're a sulfate based mm-hmm. 02:30 Micronutrient package. So when we think of, even with the biologicals, whether we're mixing something in the tank or even of course by extension what 02:39 we have in the soil, these sulfate sources are actually food mm-hmm. For the biology. So what, 02:46 what would that sets it apart from maybe other products in the industry as the reason why agri liquid is choosing that sulfate route? 02:55 So just like you said, it's uh, it's also a food source for some of the soil microbes and biology in the plant. But the, what we have is called a flavonol polymer technology. 03:05 So it's actually a plant der molecule. And we use that because when we put it on the plant, whether it's in the soil or on the leaf surface, 03:14 the plant recognizes that flavonoid. And when it recognizes something, it's gonna be a lot more easy for that plant to take it up and it's not gonna 03:23 fight it and it's not gonna have to convert it. So, you know, sulfate forms are the most plant usable forms of any nutrient that we have. 03:30 So that's fact number one. Fact number two, when we marry that with that plant derived flavonoid, then we're taking both of those things and being able to get 'em into the plant, 03:39 get it stimulated and it's not fighting the plant's natural resources and uh, systemic processes. It's working with it. 03:46 And just like the calcium product you and I know and Matt and I know is calcium is really hard to move from the top down in a plant. 03:53 So the other reason we decided to marry it with potassium is potassium regulates the opening and closing of Tada. 04:00 And it also regulates water movement in a plant. Right. So if we put this with the calcium, not only are we opening up the tada to stimulate the plant to be receiving the 04:09 calcium, we're also using it to marry it with the water and the movement through the plant to take the calcium from the top down and back up where we need it to go. 04:19 So that's a big benefit of agro liquid products. Um, probably the third and most convenient part of the technology the agro liquid has is, you know, and you know, calcium doesn't always play well in a tank. 04:33 Correct. Calcium can be a nightmare to mix 'cause it's a natural antagonist. So with the flavonol polymer technology, 04:41 it actually encapsulates that calcium and protects it from tying up with everything else in your tank. So herbicides aren't affected. Um, fungicides, 04:50 nitrogen phosphorus is a big one. And so that's another big benefit to that. And that's the reason why at Agro liquid we try to play on different needs, 04:59 but we have a fit for everything. Like I said, whether it's under the plant or on top of it, we do our best to get it in, get the nutrient utilized. 05:06 And it's pretty cool how you're talking about, you know, about the calcium. 'cause we do know it's so hard to get in a plant. I mean, 05:12 Molly and I were talking about this prior to the video, you know, a tissue sample in a cotton plant's never gonna have enough calcium in it. 05:18 Mm-hmm. And so you're being, you're taking the potassium and opening the door. Mm-hmm. You know, you got the sulfur there too to be able to allow that, 05:25 that calcium to go in the plant. Correct. And one of the next steps that you can take is um, if you have any sort of phobic or humic in your lineup. Mm-hmm. 05:35 If you think about it, humic builds the railways for the nutrients to move on. Humic acts as the train on the railway. So if you're having an issue, 05:43 like you say, getting calcium in your tissues and getting it to move, not only can you marry it with what we talked about, 05:49 but you can also mix it with a humic or a phobic source to actually help really get that in the plant and get it moving. 05:57 Also another food source for your microbes and energy for your plant. There really is no downside to this. Yeah. 06:02 Right. And with the base fertility being litter, 'cause we put out tons and tons of litter, you know, you still fall short of some of the microbes. Exactly. 06:09 And with your products being the sulfur base mm-hmm. You know, we don't get it outta the air anymore. Not near like we did before. 06:15 So it's really important, especially on like, on, you know, corn or cotton. 06:20 We can put 'em on your sulfate or we can add 28 0 0 5 and we can get that, you know, in there. But when you're doing a product that's a lagoon, 06:27 when you're not putting out nitrogen, then you start lacking on sulfur. Mm-hmm. So anything you can do, give us more sulfur. 06:33 I mean we're always needing sulfur in a lagoon because we don't get it through nitrogen. You know, our types of nitrogen 06:38 And, and we, most growers do apply gypsum on peanut, so we're getting a fair amount of sulfur with that as well as calcium. But what we're seeing now is we're backing off on our gypsum rates. 06:49 And actually this field this year actually won't get any gypsum applied. So that's why I had a conversation with the grower, Hey, 06:57 we're going to be pulling back the gypsum on this field, so we need to make sure we have enough sulfur to carry these plants through to 07:03 the harvest. So that's what we're looking for. You know, how much sulfur we getting outta the litter, 07:07 how much can we get from this and that as well as these uh, micronutrient products that are packaged here with the sulfur already there in. 07:15 Well, and you have to think too, if you look at what we're standing on, we are standing in sand. And so sand has very low, 07:21 c e C has a very low holding capacity. So you can put down as much sulfur as you wanna put down, but if you look behind us, there's pivots everywhere. 07:29 And so if we're irrigating these peanuts, unless we really have a plant usable form of sulfur and we put it where we need it, 07:37 are we willing to take the risk that by either rainfall or watering, that all that sulfur that we applied up front, 07:43 it's even still gonna be there because it it's a highly launchable. It is. And so that's why we try to come in and with sulfate forms of products and even 07:52 some liquid sulfur over the top, we've got to feed to compensate for what possibly could have been lost. Right. And that's, 07:59 I think that kind of ties back into the conversation we are having with a tissue levels is early season, like where we're at right now. Yeah. 08:06 We're gonna be good, we're gonna be looking like experts when we get our tissue sample reports back. But then when it comes time for these plants to start putting on our yield, 08:15 filling out these paws, making our money for us, we're seeing things drop off. Mm-hmm. So it's not what we're doing to get the plant started off. Right. 08:24 It's also what we're doing to finish out strong. Mm-hmm. And I think that also ties back in with just these routine applications. 08:32 Mm-hmm. We're already going across the field. We don't have to buy more applications to work in some of these products, but we're just making the most of the trips that we're already making and and 08:43 covering our bases with a season long approach, spoon feeding these frail fertility products throughout the, uh, the pod fill stages when it's most important. 08:53 You're right. So, you know, the old adage is let's put a lot of our fertility down upfront and you know, sometimes that works. But you have to ask the question is, 09:04 is what you were doing in the past getting you where you wanna be today and nine times outta 10 the ques the answer is no. Right. 09:10 And so if we're running into that, this is where I've always been a huge proponent of a spoonfeed and a foyer feet approach is you can do a lot of things up front and you can get that plant 09:21 really healthy and you can get it off to like a fantastic start. But eventually it's gonna run out and it's gonna peter out and run outta energy. 09:28 It's gonna run outta nutrients. And if we don't come in and do our job by supplementing it mid-season through the late season, 09:35 not only are we losing yield now we're just trying to maintain what we have and is what we have lining up with what our goal was in the beginning. 09:44 100% not. And so peanuts, like you said, we have so many opportunities 'cause you have to put fungicide on cotton. We have so many opportunities. We go over cotton, what every 10, 12 days? Yeah. 09:54 It's just, it's the nature of the beast. Corn, we don't really have as much opportunities now. You know, you have the drone technology where we can get over corn a lot better now with 10:03 drones instead of using hi boys or airplanes. Um, and same with soybeans. You know, we can do a lot more on soybeans now. 10:10 So application opportunities have opened the door. But I still am a big proponent of like what you said, we've got to feed it throughout and not just dump everything at one time. 10:20 That practice doesn't work anymore. Exactly. And then also we think about, uh, right here, this is a nice irrigated environment, but we've got plenty of dry corners. 10:29 We've got plenty of dry land fields. Mm-hmm. Things where moisture is not as readily available during certain parts of the growing season as we'd like. 10:37 And we think of the nutrients the plant can sense that it needs a little bit more of this or a little bit more of that. 10:43 But since it has to pull up those nutrients with water is going to start pulling up more water in search of the nutrient that it's hungry for. Yep. 10:52 Well if we can apply the nutrients over the top and get it into the plant, we can prevent that plant from becoming a water waster and we can be more 11:02 efficient with resources that we might not be able to go and put out a k a water in our dry land and dry environment. 11:09 So by making sure that we approach fertility with, uh, a balanced approach, we could say. Mm-hmm. And we're making sure the, 11:16 that the plant never goes hungry, therefore the plant doesn't go thirsty nearly as quickly. 'cause it's not pulling up water that it doesn't need to pull up. 11:26 Right. To add to that point, yeah. We don't want it wasting water, but we also don't want the plant expending energy. 11:32 And if it's expending energy to go out and find these nutrients that aren't readily available that we have put on in a foliar sense or even a fertigation 11:40 sense, you know, if it's having to expend energy to go out and search those nutrients out, that's energy that it was needing internally to actually build yield and make 11:50 a really good year end harvest. And so we don't want that to happen. We want everything right. Close to the plant when it needs it, building it up internally. 12:00 And so we're looking at pod fill, you know, cotton bowls, we're looking at, uh, corn. It, it, it translates across every crop. Right. 12:08 And that's why foliar feeding and the water sense that you're talking about, it's just so important. 12:12 Right? Yeah. Making sure that the resources that the plant has with energy, they go to things that are going to make us money that is not having to expend 12:20 itself. I think that's a really good point that that helps to see that what we're here looking at in the field is not just one application of a product to do one 12:28 thing. It's definitely a systems approach to make sure that we apply the plant's, uh, balanced and ample fertility. So we've got some trials out here. 12:38 We're gonna be looking at peanuts, some of these products that are, we could call 'em icing on the cake, 12:42 but as we look at some of these higher yield environments mm-hmm. A lot of these conversations that we're talking about, 12:48 it may not have mattered when our yield goals were half and two thirds of what we're looking at today. Mm-hmm. So something to see, 12:54 what can we do to push the envelope? What can we do to fix our yield limiting factors. So appreciate y'all being out here and enjoying us and talking a little bit 13:02 about crop fertility. Yep. Good deal. Thank you. Thank you.

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