Rice growers realizing big gains with BioRice

Every product developed by Concept AgriTek is done so with a focus on improved soil and plant health, increased yields and a maximized return on investment.

That’s a welcome approach to rice farmers who have looked to Concept AgriTek for a crop-specific solution.

They have found a winner in BioRice, which has a consortium of microbes that withstand and flourish in flooded, non-oxygenated conditions.

“It’s a biological blend of bacteria and fungi that has anaerobic and aerobic bacteria. That’s what makes it fairly unique to rice growers,” Concept AgriTek Vice President of Agronomy Daniel Hensley said. “We have hand-selected the anaerobics to do a very specific job, which means that the bacteria will live under water. It has a little skosh of zinc in it, which rice loves. It also has a food source for the microbes and the fungi in the consortium.”

In addition to the three-pronged approach of zinc, biology and a food source, BioRice has stimulants that spur root growth.

“The cool thing about BioRice is that we’re seeing a biological package that is benefiting the soil and the plants, even under continuous flood,” Hensley said. “That’s where those anaerobic bacteria come in.”

The results speak for themselves

Although no yield data has been compiled for the current growing season, the visual evidence BioRice users and Concept AgriTek agronomists are seeing in the field is remarkable.

“We are seeing a much larger root mass and a much better stand count,” Hensley said. “We’re also seeing much better tillering in the rice. So all of that, we hope, leads to greater yield.”

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Over the past three years, increased yield has been realized in fields treated with BioRice.

“We’ve been seing six- to nine-bushel yield increases where BioRice is used versus the untreated,” Hensley added. “I was on a farm in Northeast Arkansas recently, and for two years in a row, BioRice has helped average of 9.5 bushels per acre better than the checks.”

As BioRice grows in popularity, Concept AgriTek is conducting Haney testing for soil health to prove the product’s effectiveness. The test, developed by Rick Haney of the USDA Ag Research Service in Temple, Texas, uses unique soil extracts in the lab to determine what quantity of soil nutrients are available to soil microbes. It also examines soil respiration, water-soluble organic carbon and organic nitrogen and their ratio. According to the Ohio State University Extension, the results indicate the amount of food that is readily available to soil microbes and is sensitive to measuring root exudates and decomposed organic material. Other test results included in the Haney Test are: nitrate, ammonia, phosphate, aluminum, iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and sodium.

“We’re seeing the phosphorous, potassium and calcium available to the plant almost doubling over the check, and the nitrogen values are also going up,” Hensley said. “That’s extremely encouraging. That’s why we’re seeing more biomass in the plant, the better tillering and the bigger, deeper root systems.”

Bringing new life to cut acres

One area where BioRice has proven to be effective is in returning nutrients back to soil that has been leveled. It’s a practice that has become common among rice farmers, but one that tends to rob the soil of precious nutrients.

“Farmers are going in with dirt pans and they’re cutting the top soil off of one part of the field and taking it to another part of the field so that it’s level, like a zero-grade or maybe it’s a two-tenths fall over 100 acres,” Hensley said. “So why is BioRice relevant there? Where that ground has been cut, it is extremely hard to grow a decent crop because there is no top soil and you’ve removed most of your nutrients. We’ve been applying BioRice and seeing the crop in those areas recover much quicker.”

The best time to apply

Hensley said Concept AgriTek agronomists recommend applying BioRice as close to planting as possible.

“Some guys are applying it with our burndown herbicides before plant,” Hensley said. “Others are applying it with a post-herbicide application, pre-flood.”

Post-flood, rice farmers will have peace of mind knowing BioRice is continuing to work, setting the stage for a healthier crop the following growing season.

The agronomists and sales team at Concept AgriTek are at the ready to field any rice-specific questions growers have. To find out more about how BioRice is helping growers improve their soil and plant health, increase yield and achieve a greater return on investment, visit www.conceptagritek.com, or call (888) 638-9984.

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