At Midwestern BioAg, our focus on soil health helps farmers increase yields, grow more nutritious food and forage, and achieve greater profits.
Founded in 1983, much of what we make and do is based on the work of one of our founders, Gary Zimmer, considered by many to be the father of “biological farming.” His approach brought a new focus on soil biology and reshaped how many people think of their farm’s most valuable asset — the soil. He continues to help many practitioners look beyond the usual agricultural inputs (NPK) to instead consider a balance among the soil biology, soil chemistry and the soil’s physical characteristics.
Our products and approach address a farm’s yield-limiting factors with balanced fertilizer blends that go beyond NPK to include calcium, sulfur and trace minerals, such as boron, magnesium and manganese. We use high-quality minerals and carbon-based fertilizers in customized programs that fit specific crops and soil types. We recommend crop rotations to help provide necessary nutrients naturally — for plants and soil microbes. We use cover crops to build soil structure and retain nutrients — again to support both plant and soil microbe growth. The improved soil structure (a result of active soil biology, cover crops and low tillage) leads to healthier, more resilient plants.
Our focus on building a healthy microbial community keeps nutrients in the soil and more available to plants. This nutrient efficiency saves growers money, on a per-bushel basis, and reduces the likelihood of nutrient runoff into waterways. (Farmers using our products and full system often see significant reductions in the amount of commercial nitrogen they use per bushel of food grown.) Our process helps build soil organic matter, making the soil much more productive while turning a farm’s topsoil into a carbon sink. And, overall, our program increases farm yields.
Midwestern BioAg has a 30-year history of product and process innovation. Our focus on soil microbes was decades ahead of the industry mainstream. We produced the first homogenized trace mineral pack. We were first in delivering plant-available calcium as a nutrient (instead of as a soil treatment), and were first in the U.S. to use humates as a delivery mechanism. We introduced the sulfate form of potassium to our sector. We remain unique in breeding seeds specifically for high-fertility soils. The company continues to develop new intellectual property.
For most of our history, we grew at a steady pace and stayed close to home. In late 2014, our company raised external capital for the first time, when a group of investors saw we had great value to offer farmers, consumers and the community as a whole. With their investment, and with subsequent rounds, we have launched a series of new initiatives and partnerships that can help farmers across the U.S. grow more food and feed, of better quality, while reducing the environmental impacts associated with our industry.