Feeding beneficial soil fungal activity can enhance aerobic decomposition of organic matter and build a humus-rich soil that releases nutrients tied up in crop residues. This can positively impact crop yield and lead to a higher return on investment.
The objective of this study was to observe how a fall application of Huma® Fertil Humus®, a liquid soil humus builder, would affect corn production.
Materials & Methods
The corn (hybrid: DKC5981) was planted at 35,000 seeds/acre with row spacing of 30 inches at a research site near Farmer City, Illinois, on May 6 under dry land conditions. Each 4-row plot was 10 feet wide and 40 feet long. Three treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications (Table 1).
The grower standard fertilizer program (GS) included the fall application of two fertilizers: MESZ (12-40-0, 10 S, 1 Zn) at 100 lb/acre, and potash at 100/lb acre. In addition, 80 lb/acre of N was applied at planting, and then later at V4 the crop was side-dressed with another 80 lb/acre of N. Two different rates of Fertil Humus® were applied in the fall (Table 1). The crop was harvested on September 28.
Fall treatment of soil with Fertil Humus® at low and high rates resulted in higher corn yield compared with the grower standard. Fertil Humus® at 1 pint/acre and at 1 quart/acre gave 4% and 5%, respectively, higher yields than the grower standard (Figure 1).
Fall treatment of soil with Fertil Humus® improved corn yield, resulting in $29/acre (Fertil Humus® at 1 pint/ acre) and $31/acre (Fertil Humus® at 1 quart/acre) net income advantages over the grower standard practice. This net income gave an ROI of 3x and 2x, respectively.
Huma® Fertil Humus®—with 24% total nitrogen, 0.10% Iron, 0.05% manganese, 0.05% zinc, and carbon-complexed with Micro Carbon Technology®—has the nutrients necessary to feed beneficial fungal activity in the soil and to increase carbon and nutrient availability in the root zone. Fertil Humus® enhances aerobic decomposition of organic matter and builds a humus-rich soil, which releases nutrients tied up in organic residues. Fertil Humus® also helps buffer plants from the effects of heavy metals and toxic substances in the soil.