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Agricultural Biologicals Unlock Key Nutrients

Did You Know … Agricultural Biologicals Unlock Key Nutrients In the Soil?
October 2, 2023
Agricultural Biologicals Unlock Inputs

Did You Know … Agricultural Biologicals Unlock Key Nutrients in the Soil?

Farmers across the U.S. are increasingly concerned about the impact of skyrocketing fertilizer prices and decreased availability on their overall production costs. Last year, the U.S. imported $1.28 billion worth of fertilizer from Russia and $632.73 million worth from Ukraine. However, in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has slowed or stopped its fertilizer exports and Ukraine’s agriculture ministry has banned fertilizer exports completely. Even before the invasion of Ukraine, a December 2021 Farm Bureau report noted fertilizer price increases of 300% or more due to supply chain disruptions and other factors.

How can farmers respond to these economic and availability challenges? For many, the answer can be found by applying microorganisms in the soil.

Consider these facts:

  • Fertilizer used on agricultural fields during previous growing seasons can be trapped in the soil.
  • Soil biologicals can help unlock and access this unused fertilizer and other soil nutrients.
  • New regenerative farming methods can further enhance soil fertility and boost future revenues.
  • Innovative farming techniques like the implementation of biologicals can help turn challenging growing seasons around.

Did You Know … There Are Hidden Nutrients Available in Your Soil?

Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (collectively known as NPK) are the three plant macronutrients most used in crop fertilizers for commercial farming. Farmers have been supplementing their soil with these “Big Three” nutrients for years.

Of these three nutrients, phosphorus is essential for capturing the sun’s energy and turning it into usable compounds for plants. Although phosphorus is critical for plant growth, some phosphorus interacts chemically with other minerals in the soil, transforming it in phosphate, which crops cannot use. Adding a higher percentage of phosphorus to the fertilizer used increases the likelihood of unused phosphorus, with the unfortunate additional potential of run-off into local waterways.

Even with optimal soil management conditions, crop uptake of applied phosphorus (through fertilizer or manure) averages less than 20%.

That means a substantial portion of historically applied crop nutrients like phosphorus remain in the soil but go unused. This challenge—combined with rising prices and limited availability—make new, cost-effective and immediately available biological solutions essential. It is crucial for farmers to get the maximum benefits out of their investments in phosphorus and other essential soil nutrients.

Did You Know … Agricultural Biologicals Can Unlock Unused Soil Nutrients Like Phosphorus?

High fertilizer prices and looming fertilizer shortages mean that today’s farmers need a solution that can unlock previously applied phosphorus from the soil. Agricultural biologicals, also known as microbial soil amendments, can help do just that. Specific strains are recognized for their ability to:

  • Create better access to phosphorus already present in the soil, such as that remaining from fertilizer or manure applications, making it available to the crop.
  • Increase crop root mass, providing deeper penetration into the soil to access more nutrients and enhance nutrient uptake.

More roots + greater nutrient availability = greater nutrient uptake, leading to higher yields.

Read More: Phosphorus—The Stress Reliever for Plants

Did You Know … Agricultural Biologicals Promote Early Root Growth & Increase ROI?

The area directly surrounding a crop’s roots is called the rhizosphere. Here, a colony of microorganisms lives and develops a symbiotic relationship with the plant. Biologicals—sometimes called microbial soil amendments or soil microbes—can affect the root systems thereby contributing to soil fertility, root development, root mass and overall crop production.

In essence, biologicals help:

  • Metabolize soil nutrients available within the root zone to make it available to the crop
  • Promote early root growth to help the crop withstand environmental stressors
  • Increase farmer ROI – Locus AG microorganisms will allow fertilizer to work more efficiently, a proven strategy to increase return on investment.
Read More: What Are Agricultural Biologicals and Why Use Them?

Did You Know … Agricultural Biologicals Amplify the Soil Benefits of Other Regenerative Ag Practices?

Biologicals can accelerate the benefits from previous crop management efforts like synthetic fertilizers, manure, and increase your soil’s organic carbon. Combining biologicals with other regenerative agriculture practices and crop management methods can continually accelerate soil regeneration and revitalization—leading to better soil fertility and more productive growing seasons.

Novel strains, like those offered by Locus Agriculture (Locus AG) unlock and mobilize soil nutrients deposited by other sustainable growing practices. Applied annually as part of a regenerative agricultural plan for soil management, biologicals can offer the best long-term results for improved soil integrity and increased R.O.I.

Agricultural expert and Locus AG CEO, Chad Pawlak, notes, “global events and volatile markets are accelerating the movement towards more mindful soil practices. Adding biologicals into the crop management cycle helps farmers manage and maximize the benefits of their inputs. It also creates richer, more fertile soil that helps build a foundation for a legacy to pass on to the next generation of growers.”

Learn More: Agricultural Biologicals Available through Locus AG

Did You Know … Locus AG Agricultural Biologicals Are Made in the USA?

The uncertainties related to fertilizer pricing and availability offer farmers powerful motivation to find alternative methods of enhancing their soil fertility. Locus AG’s biologicals are a cost-effective and easily implemented solution that can make a rapid impact on nutrient use efficiency.

Unlike imported fertilizers, Locus AG biologicals are produced in the USA and available for immediate shipment.

They offer a choice of novel microbial strains, available in either shelf-stable dry powder formulations or liquid versions (for irrigation systems). The award-winning products are designed to integrate into a treatment plan customized by crop. The formulations cover a broad range of geographic growing regions, climactic conditions and crop categories, including row crops, cereal crops, specialty crops, turf and ornamentals. Hundreds of field trials have demonstrated their efficacy in improving root mass, soil fertility, yield and R.O.I.

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Every growing season presents unique challenges. Locus AG biologicals can help manage and overcome some of the immediate challenges—such as fertilizer management—while also supplying long-term agronomic and economic benefits by building better soil structure.


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