Gimme Some Sugar

It made the front page of Nebraska Farmer, was featured in John Deere’s The Furrow Magazine and has been part of Midwestern BioAg’s fertilizer line-up for over 25 years. Sugar is quickly becoming a staple in producers’ fertilizer programs across the country. In Nebraska, a study was conducted in 2010 that saw a 1.6 bushel per acre increase in yield across acres with foliar applied sugar. Another farmer sprayed his corn ground with a sugar and liquid carbon mix with similar results. When tests were run in Ohio, researchers found a 6 bushel per acre increase in those acres treated with 7 pounds of sugar per acre.*

Obviously, producers can be skeptical when it comes to using sugar as a fertilizer for corn, soybeans, and other crops; no one is overly excited with the thought of running a sticky, sugary solution through their equipment. A typical sugar solution can require a lot of effort to clean up and can be a hassle for those dealing with short windows for applying fertilizer. That’s where Midwestern BioAg can step in and help.

“In 10 out of 12 trials conducted in 2013, L-CBF treated acres performed equal to, or better than, those treated with competitors’ products.”

MBA’s Liquid Carbon Based Fertilizer (L-CBF) line not only contains domestic cane molasses as a sugar source, but it also requires virtually no additional clean-up over traditional non-sugar liquid fertilizers. Midwestern BioAg and QLF have teamed up to create products that are not only rich in carbon and sugars, but also provide highly available nutrients, help stabilize other nutrients, stimulate soil biology, enhance root growth and provide more effective and efficient nutrient utilization of N-P-K. Our L-CBF is non-corrosive and contains only feed grade ingredients proven to feed soil microbes and enhance soil biology. Just like the results seen in Ohio and Nebraska, on-farm trials of L-CBF products have shown positive yield increases across many farming and management systems. In 10 out of 12 trials conducted in 2013, L-CBF treated acres performed equal to, or better than, those treated with competitors’ products. With demonstrated yield increases of up to 25%, L-CBF has proven to be a competitive and influential product to take yields to the next level.**

The versatility of L-CBF is another huge benefit to this unique product. In-furrow, pop-up, starter, or foliar applied acres have all seen boosts in yield and better utilization of plant nutrients.

Growers are consistently looking for strategies to improve the efficiency of production while maximizing their yields. Correct fertilizer timing and placement are extremely important in achieving this goal. Ensuring that the right amount of nutrients are available to the crop at the right time and in the right place reduces the risk of our crops having a bad day, and that means increased yields. L-CBF provides unique and beneficial components that work hand in hand with a producer’s overall fertility program to provide adequate nutrition to the crop.

Interest in using sugars in fertilizer is growing across the country, from champion soybean producers to 360 bushel per acre corn fields; sugar has been proven to help push yields to the next level when used with a balanced fertility program. Steve McManaman, agronomist with Aurora Co-op in Aurora, Nebraska, is also convinced sugar works and believes he knows why. “Applying sugar is like drinking Mountain Dew — it provides an energy boost. It enhances the nutrient uptake of plants and also increases microbial activity when applied to the soil. This speeds residue decomposition and the mineralization of soil organic matter,” he says. Give Midwestern BioAg a call to learn more about how molasses based L-CBF can benefit your operation. We have options available for both conventional and organic farms and want to make sure your operation is performing at its highest potential.

*Information used in this article came from “Sweet Success”: Reichenberger: The Furrow, 2014. and “Will Spraying Corn with Sugar Be the Next Big Thing” Bachman: Nebraska Farmer 2014.
**Trial information from Midwestern BioAg, Inc. was taken in 2013; for more detailed trial results please contact