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Sound Agriculture Launches Source to Unlock Soil Nutrients

Source is a foliar spray that extracts soilborne nitrogen and phosphorous.

It sounds good: A new, over-the-top chemistry that extracts more nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil, thereby improving corn yields. 

Sound Agriculture has that in a new product called Source, which the company says will maximize crop performance by activating nutrients that already exist in the field. The company introduced Source in a press conference December 4. 

Source unlocks vital nutrients in the soil to be used by the plant, using “groundbreaking science to mimic natural plant-to-microbe signals that initiate atmospheric nitrogen fixation and phosphate solubilization nutrient cycling functions,” the company said in a statement. Ultimately, Source leads to increased plant health and improved yield, based on the results of 60 trials with growers in 2019 and other small plot trials. Source increased corn yield by an average of 9.6 bushels per acre, with an 88% “win” rate. 

Source uses a new active ingredient called maltol lactone, developed in-house, says Diego Angelo, chief commercial officer for Sound. Angelo says Source can be applied in small doses between V-4 and V-T in corn. 

“Unpredictable weather and nutrient loss are significant issues that require smart tools. Source makes it easy for growers to respond to in-season nutrient deficiencies and increase yield in a more environmentally sound way,” Angelo says. 

Source was designed for ease of use and adaptability with current management practices.

  • Source is a foliar spray that is compatible with most tank mixtures, resulting in a no-added-cost application.
  • Source provides reliable and predictable performance due to a well understood mode of action supported by rigorous research, development, and regulatory processes.
  • Source offers a flexible application window from postemergence through tassel, and it can be stored at ambient temperatures.

University of Illinois research shows that using Source provides the equivalent of between 40 and 50 pounds of nitrogen. However, though Source is intended to make soil nutrients more available, Angelo does not recommend reducing fertility rates until more research is completed. 

Source is available to growers for the 2020 growing season through a retail network. It is priced at about $11 per acre, although Angelo says the company has an incentive plan for early adopters. Find retailers at, or call 1-833/SOUND20 for more information. 

The company is studying how Source will work on other row crops including soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice. “We do predict it will have broad applicability across a number of different corps,” says Travis Bayer, cofounder of the company. 

Sound Agriculture is a new crop-protection company based in Emeryville, Callifornia, founded on the principles that farmers are dealing with more extreme weather events and demands for sustainable farming practices. It plans to introduce a suite of products that create more efficient and productive plants, says Eric Davidson, cofounder and CEO of Sound Agriculture. 

“Our life science approach to discovery has led to a deep understanding of the complex relationship between plants and the environment,” Davidson says. “These insights coupled with our advanced technology led to the development of Source, a product that was designed to help plants overcome adverse conditions in a way that is better for the earth.”

Sound Agriculture aims to develop reliable and effective tools that increase production, improve food quality, and reduce waste. By developing products that disrupt traditional input-intensive techniques, Sound helps growers do more with less, while supporting production, revenue, and sustainability goals. 

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