2-Year University of Illinois study shows +10.5 bu/ac average increase corn omission plot tests
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria protects yield potential, especially in stressed seasons
University of Illinois PhD candidate in crop physiology Connor Sible completed the 2nd year of the corn omission trials under the supervision of Dr. Fred Below.
The 2-year results showed a significant yield bump in Envita-treated crops.
The presence of Envita in an intensive management program provides a clear benefit under all conditions, including when plants are stressed at both ends of extreme weather conditions – a very wet season in 2019 and drought-like conditions, wind and hail in 2020
The study is called an omission trial because it allows multiple variables to be added or omitted for comparison to see what variables have the most impact on results.
This omission-addition study compared 11 different crop management factors (e.g. fertilizers, biologics and pesticides, including different application strategies) and a management control. The standard management protocol consisted of none of the individual treatments on a corn crop planted at 32,000 plants per acre with 180 units of N upfront. The intensive management protocol consisted of 44,000 plants per acre with standard nitrogen rates up front as well as all 11 individual factors. One by one, Sible either added a single factor to the standard management system or removed it from the intensive management system. The goal was to isolate the value of a single factor on yield when added to a basic crop management protocol, or removed from an intensive one.
Sible explains that the study design can be compared to assessing an athlete’s impact on a sports team’s performance: how one player can improve the team as a whole, and how much is lost when that player is benched.
The results were clear, and positive: Over 2 years, Envita created an average 10.5 bushel increase when removed from the enhanced system. The intensive system set a high yield potential early in the season, and not including the season-long N supply from Envita meant the kernels did not achieve the crop’s potential.
Sible is continuing his studies with additional trials in the coming season. He is curious to further highlight the potential of N-fixing bacteria on corn beyond yield. We’re excited to see his results!
Read the full results: