Special Report

Biologicals beneficial to agriculture

Ask an expert in the field about biologicals in agriculture and you might get a simple answer. The inventor of a popular biological product described it, “Microbes that are all around us and selecting microbes to do specific tasks.”

Tom Johnson, founder of TJ Technologies and developer of QuickRoots, a biological yield enhancement product for many crops, including corn, soybean and wheat, tells Brownfield that giving that seed its best chance was motivation for his invention.

QuickRoots is a seed treatment comprised of two live microorganisms: a specific bacterium and a specific fungus. As the seed germinates and the radical emerges from the seed, QuickRoots gets the beneficial microbes to inhabit the root as early as possible so they can compete with the indigenous populations. Once growing and thriving on the root, they’ll spread and produce a series of enzymes that release soil nutrients from the soil profile and make them available to the plant through the growing season.

Biologicals, explains Johnson, “Can assist the plant in its growth properties and give it a dynamic that the plant itself can’t duplicate.”

“As opposed to chemistries,” he said, “Biologicals are weakest in the early part of the growing season and strongest at the end of the growing season, which is the most important time in the plant’s life.”

“That’s the part you run through the combine,” he concluded.

Novozymes BioAg acquired TJ Technologies in June of 2013.

AUDIO: Conversation with Tom Johnson (5min. mp3)

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