Nitrogen Fixation Cycle: Natures Way Of Providing Plant Nutrients
The nitrogen fixation cycle allows crops like soybeans to fix atmospheric nitrogen for plant use
To a non-farmer, clusters of small bumps on the roots of soybeans may not look that important. But to a farmer, these nodules are pure gold. The microbial bumps contain Rhizobium living on the plant roots. These beneficial bacteria pull or fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil where the microbes make it available for plant use. This process is part of the nitrogen fixation cycle. It’s nature’s way of providing for the plant’s nutrient needs. It’s also a focus of Genesis Ag and their line of biological products, micronutrients, and seed treatments.
“We are seeing that the many soils are depleted of certain key micronutrients, microorganisms, and fungi,” said Genesis Ag president Phillip Davis. “We’re developing key products to help fill these voids. And as we fill these voids, we’re finding out that the plants are really responding to what we’re doing. We are focused on trying to bring back these key components to production agriculture.”
These components are critical for the nitrogen fixation cycle. If Rhizobium and other beneficial bacteria and fungi are not present in the soil then nutrient poor soils would inhibit plant growth and profitability. Understanding how this fixative process works enables farmers to optimize their crop yields and improve overall profit margins on farm land while simultaneously preserving natural resources.
This natural process is particularly critical for commercial soybean farming. Soybeans are outliers in commercial agriculture. While they require 4-5 lbs of nitrogen to produce one bushel of beans, 50-90% of this nitrogen can be provided by soil biology. These bacteria live in the plant roots and provide plant nutrients in exchange for a symbiotic relationship with the plant. Unlike corn and other cash crops, soybeans typically do not need additional nitrogen to grow. This nitrogen conversion allows plants to grow and thrive with minimal fertilizer inputs from the farmer.
Nitrogen fixation can occur in other plants as well. This means the farmer has to apply less nitrogen to their plants to achieve optimal growth. A rule of thumb for corn farming is 1-1.2 lbs. of applied nitrogen per bushel of corn.
Many Genesis Ag biological customers have reduced their nitrogen inputs significantly after implementing a rigorous biological program. Some nitrogen rates have dropped to ¾ or even ½ lb. per bushel of corn. High application rates of nitrogen can have short term yield increases. But these high rates can prove detrimental to soil biology. This creates a vicious cycle that can eventually harm the soil. Lowered nitrogen rates also have the benefit of allowing soil biology to thrive.
Genesis Ag’s premium biological product Revita-N provide living bacteria and fungi to enrich the soil with microbes that fix nitrogen. It also contains nutrients to help enhance the native biology and help it compete against non-beneficial microbes that are present in most soils.
“We have a unique set of microbes that we can implement on a farm to revitalize the soil biology,” said Josh Davis, Vice President of Genesis Ag. “These products can start giving you benefits in year one. Our biologicals range from a nitrogen-fixing bacteria to a phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria and a premium food source for the soil microbes. They can start changing your soil to provide benefits today and years into the future.”
While nitrogen gets a lot of attention when it comes to fertilizer, phosphorus is also critical for optimal plant health. Most commercial farms have routinely added phosphorus to their soils each year. Unfortunately, much of that phosphorus is tied up by calcium iron, and aluminum to make it unusable. Genesis Ag’s MorPhos helps to untie this valuable phosphorus and make it more available for them plants. It’s like finding a hidden supply of phosphorus you never knew you had.
“We know that we’ve typically got an overabundance of phosphorus tied up in our farm’s soil,” Davis said. “So rather than applying more phosphorus, we recommend using MorPhos to help utilize and create soluble phosphorus for our plants. We’re batting an extremely high percentage of success where our products and technology are implemented correctly.”
Revita-N and MorPhos are just two product in Genesis Ag’s expensive line of biological products that help farmers boost their soil biology and plant health. Our biological program can help your soil microbes provide nutrients for your plants by fixing atmospheric nitrogen and unlocking soils-bound nutrients like phosphorus for plant use. The result is lowered fertilizer costs, healthier soils, and a more sustainable future.With the skyrocketing costs for fertilizer inputs, there has never been a better time to invest in your soil health.
To speak with A Genesis Ag product specialist, please call 844-455-5511. You can learn more about our biological products here. Change how you grow with Genesis Ag.