OM News Article

Despite Severe Drought, Farmer Says Crop Produced Due to SumaGrow Microbial Product

Delap’s corn field treated with SumaGrow

In one of the worst droughts in 50 years Kevin Delap, a row crop producer who farms over 2,500 acres, says his corn is “making” because of SumaGrow, the microbial formulation contained inside many leading soil products.  According to Delap the neighboring farms have little to no crop left, “They just burned up.”

Delap initially purchased products containing SumaGrow, the microbial technology developed to improve soil fertility and plant health, in 2011 in an effort to increase his bottom line. According to Delap, “Producers can expect to reduce their fertilizer input costs by a minimum of 50 percent in most cases.” Skeptical the first year, Delap continued his conventional fertilizer program along with the SumaGrow-containing product. “They were without a doubt the best beans I’d ever grown.”

Delap’s neighbor’s farm not treated with a product containing SumaGrow.

After his initial success, Delap followed closer to the recommended 50 percent fertilizer reduction schedule for this year’s corn rotation and is delighted with the results.  Delap said he used zero potash and phosphate and reduced nitrogen by 20 percent. Conventional fertilization programs can cost upwards of $162 per acre for corn and other row crops. For Delap that could easily translate into over $400,000 per year, not including pesticide costs.Reducing fertilizer when using products containing SumaGrow is a pivotal benefit for producers- lowering input costs and reducing the risk of over fertilization. SumaGrow’s microbial blend increases the effectiveness of fertilizers by capturing more of the mineral inputs for the plant’s use. This combined with the microbial concentration’s ability to extract atomospheric nitrogen and to “make available” nutrients that are already in the soil allows the producer to cut his fertilizer applications by 50 to 100 percent and still produce a higher yielding and healthier crop.

The application guidelines and expected benefits when using SumaGrow-based products are founded in years of research and development, first born by the dedicated efforts of Dr. Lalithakumari Janarthanam, a distinguished microbiologist and plant pathologist, and Dr. C.A. Reddy, an internationally known microbiologist and professor emeritus at Michigan State University, and further tested by additional universities, specialized research facilities and independent producers. Currently products containing SumaGrow are in well over 100 national and international trials including Italy, Canada, Dominican Republic, Vietnam and Honduras. These trials include a broad spectrum of crops such as corn, soybeans, cotton, coffee, rice, bananas, energy cane, oil palms and tomatoes.

“We are working with major universities and food producers to gather the vital field data needed to continue to grow the scope of our technology and to demonstrate the significant contribution SumaGrow makes in improving crop quality and yield, and reducing fertilizer inputs,” said Wayne Wade, president of Bio Soil Enhancers, Inc., the manufacturer of SumaGrow.

But for producers like Delap, whose family has been farming since they stepped off the Mayflower, seeing is believing. And now his neighbors are talking. “It took me 1 ½ hours just to get from inside the bank back to my truck,” Delap said. “They all want to know what I’m doing.”

And he is happy to tell them.