By Kevin Knisley , QLF Regional Sales Agronomist for Illinois
In the six months that I have been with QLF Agronomy serving as a Regional Sales Agronomist for state of Illinois there is one phrase that I have heard over and over from Tim Chitwood, VP of QLF Agronomy, “Treat the solution, not just the acre.” As the “new” guy to the team I asked someone what is the concept that we are trying to teach people when we say that? It was explained to me that we want people to take a Systems type approach to using Liquid Carbon-Based Fertilizer (L-CBF) BOOST® on their farm. In other words, apply BOOST® multiple times, at different timings and placements in the cropping year, treating multiple solutions not just a rate per acre. Examples are: adding BOOST® to pre and post emerge sprayer passes, treating liquid nitrogen or phosphate fertilizer every time with BOOST®, such broadcast, banded, and/or side-dress, and possibly utilizing in fall residue decomposition needs. Ideally, we would like to see BOOST in every pass, but I know that is not always possible. Over the past 15 years I have looked at different specialty products and I have always focused on the foliar timing, and I felt BOOST® was an ideal product for this pass because unlike many of its competitors that I have sold previously, it does not need a lot of green material to give a positive result. At our fall sales meeting our company Owner and President Cory Berg told someone that “if they were not going to put out at least three gallons of BOOST® during the season they were greatly reducing the chance for a positive result.” When I heard this, I thought that this made sense and if you did some at side-dress time, plus enhancing foliar sprays, and riding along with crop protection such as fungicide pass you could easily get three plus gallons per acre consumed of BOOST® throughout the crop season.
Another common theme it seems that I was told to promote was to get BOOST® out early and close to the root zone. This helps get the plant off to a bigger, healthier start. I thought, ok but for many people that I know here in Central Illinois starter fertilizer delivered by planters is not really part of the program, so if I can get them to do the other passes that would be good. I have seen all the data that we have from University of Illinois, (Champaign, IL), also Precision Technology Institute (PTI Farm at Pontiac, IL), and SGS North America (Wyoming, IL), all independent replicated research that show the advantages of BOOST® in furrow, especially in our starter 7-21-3 MKP. But it wasn’t until I did my first Proof Positive that I really understood what we were talking about when we say to “treat the solution, not just the acre,” utilizing BOOST® in a System type approach. A local L-CBF Dealer in northern Illinois conducted a test plot last year with Swanson Farms in Byron, IL. Comparing Liquid Carbon-Based Fertilizer (LCBF) 7-21-3 MKP versus the grower standard program using a quality 6-24-6. As I just started in August I had not known of this plot and had never seen the field. I visited with Eric Swanson one of the owners of the farm in mid-December of 2021. We visited about what he did and how it was done and what the results were from the test. Treating everything else in the field that same Swanson realized 11-bushel increase in his yields with L-CBF 7-21-3 MKP in furrow over his standard 6-24-6 liquid starter program. I asked Mr. Swanson if he saw bigger plants in the LCBF 7-21-3 MKP starter treatment or anything noticeable over the other 6-24-6 starter treatment? He stated that there was no big visual difference, the only thing was “It just yielded better.” After inquiring further about his whole program, I found out that he had BOOST® in several more of his passes. When I spoke with his other local crop consultant who sold him the competitive 6-24-6 starter package, he confirmed that Swanson’s used BOOST in several of their passes along with his grower’s standard 6-24-6 package. In conclusion, the LCBF 7-21-3 MKP from QLF in fact did contribute to his +11 Bu/A better corn crop finish and likely better healthy start. This easy-to-handle blend, is combination of a unique orthophosphate (MKP-monopotassium phosphate) and BOOST®. For every 5 gallons per acre of LCBF 7-21-3 MKP delivers the same amount of carbohydrates as 1 gallon per acre of BOOST®. Many LCBF customers and years of QLF Agronomy trial data have proven that the advantages don’t stop with just proven better start. By supporting the corn plants with treating solutions with BOOST® on more applications throughout the growing season, the advantages realized from a better healthy start were better insured to carry out to maximum yields. And that is what we mean by taking a System approach and “treating the solution, not just an acre.”