At a time when farmers are being forced to produce more with less in the face of low commodity prices while remaining profitable, Take Off® technology is a welcome additional tool in the crop production tool box.
The new technology from Verdesian Life Sciences is a quantum leap forward when it comes to improved nutrient use efficiency that translates into more bushels in the bin at harvest.
Offering several application options – as a seed treatment, soil treatment or foliar spray – Take Off works from inside the plant to increase plant uptake and efficiency of nutrients, particularly nitrogen. This creates a faster running system inside the plant which increases carbon fixation and metabolism, fueling faster plant growth and the ability to capture more nutrients from the soil.
Discovered by Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and developed by Verdesian, Take Off improves seed emergence, early season growth and uniform crop establishment. Use of the technology results in larger root systems, increased plant biomass and, ultimately, higher yield potential.
“Other nitrogen-management systems are based primarily on protecting fertilizers against environmental factors contributing to their loss,” says Ryan Bond, Ph.D, vice president of marketing for Verdesian. “Take Off is the first technology that moves to the next level and actually works directly on the crop to more effectively manage crop nutrients, especially nitrogen, from inside the plant.”
Builds Entire Plant
As Take Off increases carbon fixation and metabolism, it stimulates nitrogen uptake and utilization. This not only allows plants to create more roots and shoots, but also have access to more nutrients in the soil, helping build the entire plant. As the plant continues its growth processes, such as photosynthesis and root development, more nutrients are utilized. “This increased nutrient and nitrogen utilization results in larger diameter stalks and faster and denser canopy development,” Bond says. “Because plants are more robust and healthier, they are able to capture more sunlight, take up more nutrients and better fend off yield-limiting stressors.”
For instance, Bond says Take Off technology can help crops better withstand environmental stressors induced by drought by way of increased root volume, continue to grow through certain injurious herbicide applications, and improve early crop growth establishment when planting early into certain cool soil conditions.
“This technology has a good fit across major field crops, including corn, soybeans and wheat, and it provides a high return on investment due to improved plant health and yield increases,” Bond adds. “And, by increasing plant uptake of key nutrients such as nitrogen, there are less of these nutrients left in the soil subject to off-site movement.”
Ramping Up Carbon and Nitrogen Utilization
Brad Ruden, director of agronomy technical services for Wheat Growers in Aberdeen, South Dakota, has been field testing the Take Off technology in conjunction with inoculants and seed treatments, as well as foliar applications, in soybeans, corn and spring wheat. “What Take Off is doing is ramping up the carbon and nitrogen cycles within the plant,” Ruden explains. “And, when we put in on the seed as an inoculant, it’s happening very early in the growing season. We’re getting an improved plant stand, and the technology is also signaling the plant to get out and look for more nitrogen in the soil.”
A lot of Ruden’s testing of Take Off has been in on soybeans in conjunction with another Verdesian Life Sciences product, Preside® CL soybean inoculant, which features the Take Off technology. “I feel very passionate about soybean inoculants specifically and seed treatments in general,” the agronomist says. “These products are an absolute must if we are going to maximize productivity in soybeans.”
According to Ruden, when uninoculated soybeans were compared against soybeans treated with a basic, standard inoculant, there was a 1.8 bushel-per-acre gain for the inoculated soybeans. When the Preside CL inoculant was introduced to the field trial, there was an additional 1.33 bushel-per-acre yield increase. “That’s over an additional 3 bushel-per-acre yield increase for soybeans treated with the Preside CL and Take Off versus the uninoculated soybeans,” he stresses.
Early Season Development Crucial
Ruden emphasizes that getting crops up quickly and off to a solid start is critical in the area that Wheat Growers covers, whether it be soybeans, corn or wheat. “In the Northern Plains, early-season plant development is an absolutely critical factor for success later in the season,” the agronomist says. “We plant into some pretty stressful conditions and very cold soils.
“Having a product that can increase that early-season plant growth and development, get those plants out of the ground more quickly and in a more uniform manner, is absolutely critical in setting those plants up for developmental success throughout the entire growing season. Plants that are behind from the get-go just never seem to catch up during the rest of the season.”
To date, Ruden has looked at the Take Off technology, not only in soybeans with the Preside CL inoculant, but also as a wheat seed treatment and as a foliar product in corn and soybeans. “We’ve seen positive results with this technology across the board,” he says. “That’s a rare find to be able to find a product that can work on seed and as a foliar spray and be consistent across three major crops.”
Mike Wilson, an agronomist and specialty crops coordinator at Wabash Valley Service Company in Allendale, Illinois, has tested Take Off in several field trials on corn. “Two top priorities for our customers are nutrient efficiency and crop stress mitigation,” says Wilson, who works closely with farmers in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. “Based on our trials, Take Off is a technology that helps better utilize nitrogen, increase yield potential and reduce various environmental and agronomic stresses. We saw yield increases in corn up to 13 bushels per acre due to improvements in plant health.”
Important: Always read and follow label use directions.
Take Off® and Preside® CL are registered trademarks of Verdesian Life Sciences. ©2016 Verdesian Life Sciences.