09 August 2023, Wisconsin: Keeping microbes alive and vigorous is bringing big benefits to crops and farmers. Today Meristem Crop Performance® unveiled the next generation of their patented BIO-CAPSULE TECHNOLOGY™ delivery system. The reveal came in front of nearly 300 dealers attending Meristem’s Breakthrough to Excellence Dealer/Partner event in Delavan, Wisconsin.
“Massive roots, more nutrients – farmers are seeing great results on the 3.1 million acres applied this season with REVLINE HOPPER THROTTLE™ powered by the BIO-CAPSULE microbial delivery system,” said Mitch Eviston, Meristem’s Founder and CEO as he held up the new BIO-CAPSULE. “With our next generation system, we will be ready to help farmers win on more than 8.5 million acres in 2024.”
BIO-CAPSULE TECHNOLOGY™ (BCT) powers Meristem’s REVLINE® HOPPER THROTTLE™, a full collection of multiple biological agronomic solutions safely packaged for convenient deployment at planting. The REVLINE HOPPER THROTTLE BIO-CAPSULEs are charged with Terraysm® and a powerful consortium of N-fixing microbes released at planting time into a unique ion encapsulated zinc-rich micronutrient blend. It’s carried to the furrow in a talc/graphite seed fluency agent. In-field research has demonstrated up to 10-times the number of live microbes can be delivered through the planter box when compared to seed treatment or liquid starter.
John Gertz, Meristem’s Chief Operating Officer said knowledge gained across those acres and farmers using the product ignited several distinct improvements to the Bio-Capsule delivery system itself for the coming year. “With what we learned, we quickly improved the design and are currently building our inventory to meet the demand we know is coming in 2024.” Gertz listed several key improvements:
- A larger pail provides positions for six potential BIO-CAPSULEs to carry more technology.
- Each BIO-CAPSULE is larger with more space for microbes to eliminate clumping, caking or sticking.
- More dispenser teeth mean easier material release.
- Self-locking nuts ensure Bio-Capsules stay fixed in the lid.
- Larger, easier to push buttons improves comfort and convenience to release microbes.
- Larger robust pail with a clear pour side, metal handle and pour-assist grip.
“But this is not only about improvements to our Bio-Capsule,” said Gertz, “it’s also about what we will be able to deliver to the furrow through this new technology by expanding the components.”
New for 2024 in the corn product will be an option to include ETHER Enzyme Technology™, featuring mannanase and lipase – enzymes that speed microbial colonization and nutrient availability. ETHER will also be available as an option for the soybean version, which also gets key upgrades with mineralization microbes and IonLock™ Zinc as new additions for 2024.
“I’ve spent 10 years working with biologicals,” says Chris Thrasher, Meristem’s Director of Innovation and Product Management. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with some very good biological technologies, but we’ve never had a dependable way to keep microbes vigorous all the way to field level and in high enough concentration to benefit crops the most.” He says the new Bio-Capsule meets that challenge in a way that’s easy for the farmer to use.
“Now we are able to bring the proper load of bios and micros to the crop and put them, safely, right where they need to be,” Thrasher explains. “As an industry, we’ve tried to put more on the seed through seed treatment, but available space on the seed is limited. Now we can adhere to the seed in a high enough concentration to change the effectiveness of biologicals.” Thrasher explains that the Bio-Capsule will carry innovative technology like the new ION-LOCK Zinc, specially formulated to effectively deliver 10-times the zinc to each of those seeds through the planter box. “When you have the right material in the right place for that seed, it’s like getting the shot of adrenalin exactly right,” he says.
Thrasher says this delivery system, and the options it offers, will completely change how biologicals are offered and return the power of choice to farmers. “This is going to be a revolution for farmers who need cost-effective, field-specific answers to local challenges. This puts the keys to local solutions in the farmer’s pocket, not pockets of the big companies.”
Thrasher says Bio-Capsule Technology™ also provides a path forward for other biological companies and start-ups who’ve discovered beneficial microbes that face the same challenge of formulation and field delivery. “Our intent is to widen the pathway to market for others and we’re willing to license them to use the Bio-Capsule. I know there are many, many new biological technologies out there that can now find their way to farmers’ fields in a consistent and reliable form. This is truly an historical change in the agriculture biological industry.” he says.
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