Crop Tech: Verdesian Offers New Seed Treatment for a Trio of Crops

February 6, 2016 02:36 AM
iStock Crops and Clouds

By Sonja Begemann and Colleen Scherer

Verdesian Offers New Seed Treatment for a Trio of Crops

The biological technology in Take Off ST works with plants to gather nutrients and use them during germination and early growth. Available for corn, soybeans and wheat, Verdesian claims additional benefits such as improved nitrogen uptake and efficiency and less nitrogen escape. 

Field tests show using Take Off ST on crops increased yields 3.3 bu. per acre in wheat, 2.3 bu. in soybeans and 7.1 bu. in corn.

The product was discovered at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and Verdesian developed it into a seed treatment. 

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EPA Cannot Vacate Enlist Duo Label

In January 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) motion to vacate Dow AgroScience’s Enlist Duo herbicide registration. Instead, the court ruled EPA could review whether it was right in approving the herbicide. 

The EPA originally sought vacatur of registration because new information unveiled potential synergistic effects between 2,4-D choline and glyphosate, ingredients in the pre-mix. The group was concerned synergism between the two could negatively affect non-target plants.

Currently, Enlist Duo is registered in 15 states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio,  Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Phosphorus System Reduces Runoff and Recycles Nutrients

Since 2003, a Wisconsin researcher has made it his goal to reduce the amount of phosphorus released back into watersheds from wastewater treatment plant biosolids through phosphorus crystallization.

After seeing wastewater treatment facilities struggle with phosphorus buildup and disposal, Phillip Barak, a soil sciences professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, had an idea. “If we can get the phosphorus out of biosolids, then it’s a win-win,” he says.

In Barak’s solution, phosphorus is removed from biosolids in the usable form of brushite, a calcium phosphate mineral. The biosolids then have a more balanced concentration of phosphorus and nitrogen. Farmers can use the recovered phosphorus just like traditional phosphorus, and communities benefit from the solution with less runoff. 

   University of Wisconsin–Madison    soil science professor Phillip Barak  and two of his students work to  reduce struvite buildup in wastewater pipes.

Currently, as wastewater enters a treatment plant, some of the phosphorus crystallizes into struvite. This coats the plant’s pipes and tanks, creating a nuisance and sometimes blockages for operators. The remaining phosphorus exits the plant in the form of biosolids. The treatment plant then sells or gives away the nutrient-rich biosolids to farmers who can apply it to their land.

This causes problems because phosphorus in the biosolids is too concentrated, which reduces the benefit of nitrogen in the solids. Additionally, the highly concentrated biosolids are often applied to land in the same watershed as the plant, which also discharges its low-phosphorus-content effluent water. In the end, the same phosphorus essentially finds its way into the water again, which is not efficient.

“This is a sustainable source of phosphorus,” notes Barak, who also says the recovered phosphorus is just as effective as what farmers would buy from their regular supplier. Farmers can expect brushite prices to reflect its efficacy. “It will cost about the same as traditional phosphorus.” 

Barak and his team just completed their first pilot of the phosphorus recovery process at a wastewater treatment plant in the Chicago area. 


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