Ever heard of a CCI meter? It measures the Chlorophyll Concentration Index in plants. I hadn’t heard of it either. But I got to use one live in our corn fields this summer and I was impressed.
Now WHY is this such a big deal?
This meter allowed us to measure the chlorophyll concentration in corn plants throughout the growing season, at that moment in time. We know that chlorophyll is an indicator of nitrogen. When we take the chlorophyll concentration along with the plant biomass, we are able to calculate how much nitrogen the plant has used at that point in the growing season. Nitrogen testing has been around for a long time. But, without the CCI meter, corn leaves would have to be sent into a lab, dried down and crumbled, and then tested. This process took about a week to get data back. The real time readings on the CCI meter lets us measure what we want to know THAT day, THAT hour, THAT minute.
Getting the Numbers
We did these calculations three times throughout the growing season and compared corn treated with Pivot Bio PROVEN40 to untreated corn. Beyond the PROVEN40, the fertility programs for the two groups of plants tested were identical. Same exact chemical profiles, same exact seed variety, same exact irrigation schedule. Each time we tested, there were visible differences in the treated vs non treated plants. We could SEE the difference. Some treated plants had tillers early in the growing season. This is something I had never seen before but Levi summed it up by saying “this means the plant is really happy and is getting everything it needs right now.” As the season went on we saw some stalks with TWO ears. This is almost unheard of in conventional corn farming. In addition to what we could see with the naked eye, we were able to prove that plants treated with PROVEN40 had 24.2% more nitrogen than the untreated plants.
See the breakdown of the numbers here from the test we did on 7/20/22:
- Difference in Biomass 15.6% 15.6%
- Difference in Chlorophyll 22.7% 22.7%
- Difference in Nitrogen 24.2% 24.2%
Now what does this mean?
This means that the microbes are doing their job by making nitrogen readily available to the corn plants all season long. This proves that the plants that weren’t treated with PROVEN40 were not reaching their full potential. We can say this because the treated and untreated plants were in the same field with the same seed and same farming profiles. Everything was identical. Besides the PROVEN40.
All this talk about nitrogen now why is it so important?
Corn needs nitrogen to grow to its full potential. There’s several ways to apply nitrogen. It comes in many synthetic forms: anhydrous ammonia, liquid fertilizer, dry fertilizer. The difference with PROVEN40 is that the microbes do the work in producing the nitrogen. Since the microbes are attached to the plant’s roots, the nitrogen they produce can’t evaporate or leach away. When it rains, the nitrogen stays put.
“When you apply in furrow, the microbes colonize right on those roots as the plant is growing and it doesn’t go anywhere from there. You can get a three inch rain, you can have a drought, and those microbes are still going to keep producing.”