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Biologicals for drought-stressed crops and nutrient efficiency

The biologicals space continues to develop and one key area that companies like Corteva are trying to refine is the lifespan of products in the marketplace.

Ryan Ridder, U.S. product manager for biologicals and fungicides at Corteva, says that even with continual shifts in the space, products with the right mode of action can work better for the farmer in herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and more.

Drought Stress

One such solution is the Sosdia Stress abiotic stress mitigator.

This biological solution protects row crops from stressful conditions like drought, heat, excess salinity, and excess sunlight. Sosdia allows plants to focus on growth and productivity instead of on cell repair in challenging conditions, resulting in better chances for optimum yield.

It works with several row crops, including corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Sosdia Stress abiotic stress mitigator contains naturally-occurring ingredients like proline and potassium, which help crops react to stress similarly to plants with higher levels of osmolytes.

Osmolytes are naturally-occurring compounds that protect cell integrity, water balance and metabolism during stressful conditions.

“Think of it this way: Cacti are plants with naturally high levels of osmolytes. Sosdia Stress abiotic stress mitigator helps row crops react to stressors like heat and drought more similarly to cacti,” Ridder explains. “Crops treated with Sosdia Stress abiotic stress mitigator lose less water vapor, maximizing the conversion of water into crop biomass for better yield potential.”

Sosdia is a foliar application and tank-mix compatible. Its shelf life is two years. Sosdia Stress abiotic stress mitigator will be more widely available in 2023.


Nutrient Efficiency

Nutrient efficiency is another space biologicals support, and one that is under additional scrutiny as the cost of nitrogen has increased.

"Our job is to balance the science and the economics," says Mike Koenigs, nutrient maximizer development specialist.

Utrisha N is one solution that does balance science and economics. It is a dry powder with bacteria that can be applied to corn, soybeans, small grains, and more, that fixes nitrogen and converts it to ammonium, which the plant can use.

"This is another tool growers can use to manage nitrogen," Koenigs says. "From an environmental standpoint, it's a very friendly form of nitrogen because it isn't susceptible to loss in the plant."

Koenigs says Utrisha N is a complement to an existing nitrogen management plan. "This is a way to get you to the next yield level. It's good for certain soil types that don't mineralize as much nitrogen for a corn crop."

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