A new kind of plant health product called Source comes to market this year.
Created by Sound Agriculture, Source works directly with beneficial soil microbes to help plants use fertilizer more efficiently. It stimulates nitrogen-fixing bacteria and spurs them to supply a plant's roots with more nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
The active ingredient, maltol lactone, will be available for use on corn first. "Because this mode of action is focused on soil, we predict it will have broad applicability," says Travis Bayer, cofounder of Sound Agriculture. "We're currently doing tests in soybeans, wheat, rice, cotton and high-value crops."
The chemical has a low-use rate and can be mixed with most common tank-mix partners, such as herbicides and fungicides, Angelo says. It can be applied from V4 through tasseling.
Source is considered a "soil amendment" product by EPA, and the company is in the process of receiving state regulatory approvals. It will sell for around $11 per acre.
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