Crop Nutrition

Meristem’s UPSHIFT® C powered by ETHER™ Technology Saves Farmers Millions with a Better ROI Than Synthetic Starters

Less Waste and Lower Cost. Shipping the dry soluble product to the use site means saving diesel fuel and lowering costs. It’s available in 50-lb. bags or 2,000 lb. Super Sacks and mixed at the rate of ½ lb./gallon of water

19 March 2024, Ohio: Thousands of innovative farmers across the Corn Belt are switching to UPSHIFT® C with ETHER™ Technology this spring and the savings will add up to more than $25 million, Meristem Crop Performance announced today in Columbus, Ohio.

“Today we’ve surpassed two million acres in sales for UPSHIFT C in our first full year,” explained Mitch Eviston, founder and CEO of Meristem Crop Performance in sharing the news. “That means replacing at least 10-million gallons of liquid fertilizer with UPSHIFT C at half the cost, thereby saving farmers millions.  We want farmers choosing to put fertility down at the time of planting to know they can still save big money this spring.”

Eviston said it’s really the first starter system that significantly decreases cost while delivering more plant-available phosphorus in-furrow. “By adding these enzymes to a 12-58-0 dry soluble you get more plant-ready phosphorus to your crop at a lower cost than conventional liquid starters,” Eviston said. Every year farmers have paid national distributors millions to ship water-based liquid starter, he added, but now with UPSHIFT® C powered by ETHER™ Enzyme Technology there’s a way to avoid that waste and improve plant nutrition when the seed goes in the group

“We’ve done field research in 10 states across the Corn Belt, and we’ve got a great record,” said Eviston. “We’ve got a nearly perfect win rate when compared with the use of 10-34-0. Positive yield results range from 1 to 7-plus bushels/acre at a lower input cost.”

“We did side-by side trials comparing UPSHIFT C as a replacement for our typical 10-34-0 starter fertilizer,” said Eric Mohr, who farms in Hancock County in Indiana. “During the season, we could see that the UPSHIFT acres were two weeks ahead of the 10-34-0. Nutrient uptake was better when we compared the tissue tests and at harvest the UPSHIFT C was five bushels better.” Mohr said with the lower cost per acre of UPSHIFT C, he would have been happy with the same yield, but what we saw was icing on the cake. “It’s all about ROI (return on investment),” he said. “When we can take a product that was $35 an acre and replace it with something that brings more yield at less than half the cost, that’s a big win.” (WATCH Eric’s Story Here).

Combining two enzymes with the specially formulated 12-58-0 dry soluble enhances microbial activity that boosts plant growth fast, said Peter Rousonelos, Meristem’s Senior VP of Sales and Business Development, and with a salt index of only four, it’s better for soil biology, plant nutrition and equipment. “There’s no root burn, and that results in plants out of the ground fast and achieving canopy earlier. It also won’t turn your planter into a rust bucket,” Rousonelos smiled. “We call it ETHER because it jump-starts plants just like spraying starter fluid kickstarts a cold engine. With the old starter, 80 percent of the nutritional value was tied up compared with more immediate availability on the UPSHIFT C treated acres we’ve studied.”

Troy Jangula, who farms “several thousand” acres near Napoleon, N.D., said UPSHIFT C has exceeded his expectations. “We totally altered our starter program with it and aren’t seeing any drawbacks,” he said, adding that the product is easy to use and he’s had no plugging issues during planting. “We’re seeing results good or better for half the cost. I’m not seeing any downside to our switch to UPSHIFT C. When you use UPSHIFT C together with REVLINE® HOPPER THROTTLE™, you get the best of both worlds.”

Eviston said UPSHIFT C is another clear example of Meristem’s mission to reduce waste in the distribution channel. “We ship UPSHIFT C to farmers as a dry soluble concentrate that’s mixed with water at the point of application,” he explained. “For every 1,000 acres of corn, we can help save more than 30+ gallons of diesel fuel by not shipping water.” For more information and to find a dealer in your area, visit

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