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Indiana No-tiller: More Bushels With EXCAVATOR™


“…I’m going to put it on 400 more acres this year.”

For Lee Anderson of Anderson Farms, Burnettsville, Ind., residue seems to be a big opportunity wrapped in a bigger challenge. This year, he had success with something new: EXCAVATOR™, a biological that breaks down residue and releases nutrients from a new player on the crop input scene, Meristem Crop Performance.

“I’m involved with the Dowdy and Hula group, Total Acre, and they gave me the opportunity to do a test of EXCAVATOR, so I applied it with my burndown on a cover crop,” explains Anderson. The cover crop, a blend of ryegrass, rape seed, clover and hairy vetch, was about 16”-18” tall on May 11, 2022 – when he made the EXCAVATOR application. Anderson pulled samples from EXCAVATOR-treated ground and untreated ground at 40 days and again at 80 days. “I pulled the samples myself, to be sure they were good ones,” he says, “and I was a little surprised it (EXCAVATOR) worked so well.”

Soil test results at 40 days showed potassium (K) at 170ppm (parts per million) in the treated, versus 115 in the untreated, a 48 percent increase. By the 80-day test, K had increased to 402 ppm compared to just 145 ppm in the untreated. Phosphorus (P) was level at the first pull: 150 ppm in the treated and 148 in the untreated. At 80 days, the treated still held at 144 ppm, but the untreated was at 69. There was also more zinc, more magnesium, more calcium and twice the organic matter in the EXCAVATOR field at both tests.

Anderson says more good news came at harvest. His yield showed a +5.2 bu./A. advantage on the treated ground compared with the untreated. “Even if I didn’t get the yield bump, I really liked what I was seeing mid-season – fertility levels were increasing or at least staying the same,” he says.

“EXCAVATOR was an easy product to use,” he says. “And with the results I saw, well, I’m going to put it on 400 more acres this year.”

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