It all started over a steak dinner in San Antonio, Texas circa March 2020. A casual conversation getting to know the fellow Ag professionals that happened to be seated at the same table as us, led to a field trial a few short months later.
So here’s our story. . .
Levi and I were in San Antonio to speak on a panel at the Commodity Classic. Participating in that panel landed us at a briefing dinner where I happened to be seated next to Alice. Alice was there for the third party research she completed for the fungicide trial that we were speaking to the next day, but her full time job was working for Pivot Bio. I had never heard of Pivot Bio. So as any good farm wife would, I started asking questions to learn what this Pivot Bio thing was all about.
Now, Alice is extremely intelligent, and when she first told me about the PROVEN product that Pivot Bio produced, my mind was blown. I wish I could remember her exact words, but you will have to forgive me because that was two years ago and I was very pregnant at the time. My interpretation of what Alice told me was that PROVEN is a microbe applied to the soil in furrow (during planting) that produces nitrogen. It’s now also available in a seed treatment! These microbes Alice was referring to already exist in the soil but stop producing nitrogen when nitrogen is present. Pivot Bio took those microbes and produced a product that continues to make nitrogen even when nitrogen is present. I was intrigued and knew we needed to find a way to try this new product on our farm as soon as we could! Levi trusted my instinct and a few weeks later we got a call asking to participate in a field trial.
One of the things I admire most about Levi as a farmer is his willingness to test ANYTHING on his fields.
He firmly believes that every single product we invest in must earn every single acre it is applied to. We plant test plots every year and usually have a few side by side product trials each growing season. We were impressed with the data we gathered from our initial PROVEN trial and have since scaled the product across our whole operation.
I’ve since learned a lot more about PROVEN and I am not being dramatic when I say that these little microbes are a BIG DEAL! After the seed germinates and starts to shoot out its root system, the microbes attach to the root structures and form a mutually beneficial relationship. In layman’s terms, the roots feed the microbes and the microbes produce nitrogen, which is a nutrient the corn plants utilize significantly throughout the growing season.
So why is this such a big deal?
In the past, the only way for farmers to feed nitrogen to their crops was through the application of liquid fertilizer, dry fertilizer, and gas fertilizer (anhydrous ammonia). All of these application routes have their pros and cons. The biggest con of all of these fertilizers is that it doesn’t always stay in the soil. Liquid can run off, dry can blow away, and gas can evaporate out of the soil. They’re more volatile and the farmer really doesn’t have a great way of knowing exactly how much of that nitrogen is staying in the soil. That’s the Pivot Bio PROVEN difference. Since the microbes are actual living organisms producing nitrogen, the nitrogen they produce doesn’t run off after a big rain and can’t evaporate out of the soil. The current product we are using, PROVEN40, is guaranteed to produce 40 pounds of nitrogen per acre throughout the growing season. Like I said, this is a big deal!
PROVEN is a big deal.
I vividly remember Alice telling me that Pivot Bio could change agriculture when it comes to nitrogen applications. I believed her then and now our farm has the proof in our crop data to back that up. PROVEN is a big deal. If you farm and you haven’t tried this product, take my advice and test it on a small plot this next growing season.
That little small talk conversation over a steak dinner two years ago has literally changed our farming practices for the better. I guess my take away from this and advice to fellow farmers is to always keep an open mind and always be willing to try new things on your farm. There is no way to improve if you aren’t making intentional changes.