Barron's Magazine: 08/28/12 – BROUGHTON, IL — (MARKETWIRE)
Despite Severe Drought, Farmer Says Crop Produced Due to SumaGrow Microbial Product
In one of the worst droughts in 50 years Kevin Delap, a row crop producer who farms over 2,500 acres, says his corn is "making" because of the microbial formulation in SumaGrow. According to Delap the neighboring farms have little to no crop left, "They just burned up."
Delap initially purchased products containing SumaGrow, a pioneering microbial technology developed to improve soil fertility and plant health, in 2011 in an effort to increase his bottom line. According to Delap, "Producers can expect to reduce their fertilizer input costs by a minimum of 50% in most cases." Skeptical the first year, Delap continued his conventional fertilizer program along with the SumaGrow product. "They were without a doubt the best beans I've ever grown."
After his initial success, Delap followed closer to recommended 50% fertilizer reduction schedule for this year's corn rotation and is delighted with the results. Delap said he used zero potash and phosphate and reduced nitrogen by 20%. Conventional fertilization programs can cost upwards of $162 per acre for corn and other row crops. For Delap, that could translate into over $400,000 per year, not including pesticide costs.
Fertilizer reduction when using products containing SumaGrow is a pivotal benefit for both producers and consumers. Research points to the overuse of chemical fertilizers as the root cause of much land degradation, reduction of the nutrients in foods and grasses, and water eutrophication and pollution. Microbes naturally increase the success rate of fertilizer inputs therefore decreasing the amount needed and the frequency of its application.
Microbial products are the key to the next green revolution. We cannot continue to produce in unsustainable methods and expect to meet the global demand for food and water. We have limited resources and are quickly running out of time.
So how can microbial products help reverse the damage done to once arable land? Microorganisms play a vital role in nutrient cycling and disease suppression. Microbes capture nitrogen from the atmosphere, make it available to plants, and carry out processes responsible for soil fertility. SumaGrow contains the highest microbial content that he knows of on the market today. "The microbes in products containing SumaGrow were selected for their abilities to work together to increase crop production while reducing fertilizer inputs and water use. Microbial formulation restores and maintains a healthy and fertile soil environment as backed up with years of university research.
Michigan State University conducted three years of testing on the SumaGrow technology and concluded that, "To the best of our knowledge there is no microbial formulation on the market today that is specifically designed to contain a comprehensive set of microbial groups with multiple complementary functions and with documented efficacy for substantially increasing productivity of such a broad spectrum of important pulses, cereals, vegetable, and forage crops as reported here. Heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are often employed for increasing crop productivity now result in leaching of nitrates which at high levels pose a health hazard to humans."
Since then the technology of SumaGrow has been tested by numerous universities, specialized research facilities and independent producers on various crops. Currently, products containing SumaGrow are in well over 100 national and international trials, including Italy, Canada, Dominican Republic, Vietnam and Honduras. These trials include a broad spectrum of crops such as corn, soybeans, cotton, coffee, rice, bananas, energy cane, oil palms, and tomatoes.
Testing of SumaGrow by major universities and food producers are gathering the vital field data needed to continue to grow the scope of microbial technology and to demonstrate the significant contribution SumaGrow makes in improving crop quality and yield, and reducing fertilizer inputs."
But for producers like Delap, whose family has been farming since they stepped off the Mayflower, seeing is believing. Delap had to see it work on his farm first and now his neighbors are talking. "It took me 1 1/2 hours just to get from inside the bank back to my truck," Delap said. "They all want to know what I'm doing."
And he is happy to tell them all.