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Market Insight: Saving The Bay?


EXCAVATOR® On Cover Crops Can Help

EXCAVATOR is helping farmers in Maryland protect the Chesapeake Bay by making existing phosphorus more available for the next crop.

“We get a bonus for keeping this cover crop until May 1,” says Steve Moore as he walks with his brother Stan through the mix of wheat and crimson clover near their home on the eastern shore of Maryland. He explains that Maryland started a nutrient management featuring cover crops about 10 years ago to recover nutrients and keep them in the field.

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed, touching more than 64,000 square miles and six states, plus the District of Columbia, has always drawn a good share of environmental attention. Grain farmers in Maryland and Virginia, plus dairy farmers as far away as New York State deal with scrutiny over the potential for runoff.

“We’re limited on the nutrients we can apply in this part of the country,” Moore adds. “So, if we can use Meristem’s EXCAVATOR with our spring burndown and make those existing nutrients in the soil more accessible to the next crop, that’s a good win for us. We also spread chicken manure out here and hopefully with the EXCAVATOR, all that phosphorus will be more readily available.”

Moore credits Steve Freeman and the team at Tidewater Seed for bringing new beneficial ideas to his operation, and says good results with Meristem products they tried in 2023 led them to using spring-applied EXCAVATOR this year.

“We used Meristem’s REVLINE® HOPPER THROTTLE® and UPSHIFT™ C for the first time this past season,” Moore says, “and we had the best looking early stand of corn we’ve ever had and a good yield. I attribute that to those Meristem products.”

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