By Jordan Johnson, Agronomy Coordinator
Two consecutive years in North Central Iowa showed 10 % inclusion of L-CBF Boost with 32% UAN at side-dress improved yields and profitability. 2017’s carbon-based approach provided on average 5.8 bu more over the UAN alone application and 2018’s carbon-based approach provided on average 9.4 bu more than UAN alone.
L-CBF BOOST 4-0-3-2S works with several features but a couple are key in realizing the benefits of improved nitrogen use efficiencies that ultimately help drive higher yields:
- Available Carbon = Energy
- Low pH
In addition, BOOST supplies both plant and biology with multiple sources of Nitrogen and Sulfur. The nitrogen component is comprised of urea and naturally derived amino acids from sugar cane molasses. Non-protein nitrogen source urea drives both bacteria and aids in the intake of nutrients foliar. Amino acid forms are in the purest form of N and require little to no energy to assimilate. Bugs respond to these combinations. The sulfur sources are provided in the form of high-quality ammonium sulfate and sulfuric acid. Sulfur is a very mobile plant nutrient and its availability is closely related to organic matter and mineralization in the soil. The inclusion of sulfur with a proprietary package of highly available food sources for the microbes ensures that the corn plant will have multiple sources to support its sulfur needs. In addition to the 3.3 lbs. per gallon of raw undegraded microscopic plant sugar (30%), these additional minerals also contribute to the net energy created by feeding biology.
The second feature of low pH is also driven by the careful addition of acidic sulfur sources. BOOST’s low pH improves the season-long availably of the UAN starting on day one of application. Immediately reduce the upward and downward movement of N by encouraging biology to cycle the nutrients. BOOST moves minerals into a carbon biological cycle allowing the nutrients to move with the pace of growing Corn plants.
Nutrient cycling is an important component of biology’s active soil. L-CBF BOOST is proven to provides a food source to microbes to help digest crop residues and create a carbon opportunity of nutrient-rich corn residue. According to the University of Nebraska, a 240 bu/ac field will produce approximately 6 tons of residue. Dry harvested corn residue, average nutrient concentrations include 17 lbs of nitrogen, 4 lbs of P2O5, 34 lbs of K2O, and 3 lbs of sulfur. The second highest nutrient concentration is Nitrogen. There are 102 lbs of nitrogen in a 240/ bu corn crop’s residue. Nitrogen programs using the carbon-based approach with L-CBF BOOST will work with the nitrogen cycle and foster that relationship needed to efficiently recycle these nutrients and make more available to your growing crop when it is needed.
The research validates that our carbon approach is an essential component of a balanced nitrogen program. L-CBF is a great tool to help growers improve profitability while providing a more sustainable and environmentally sound approach. The industry is growing and learning at a rapid pace. More information is available every day about sustainable fertilizer rates, timing, placement, and sources. The BOOST inclusion into UAN is becoming a widely adopted practice, or “best practice” that all growers should adopt. At the same time, our studies demonstrate the in-season applications of UAN alone are not enough to provide a more sustainable approach to crop fertilizing. L-CBF BOOST clearly demonstrates that growers are able to grow more bushels per unit of nutrient and make their fertilizers perform better.